Luc Lacoste believes that the planets are aligned for Rugby League in France
Luc Lacoste, President of the French Rugby League Federation (FFRXIII) believes that this week is one of the most important and exciting in the history of the sport in France. Catalans Dragons have won through to the Super League Grand Final and Toulouse Olympique are one victory away from securing a place in the Super League for 2022. The possibility of having two French teams in Super League could be of global significance in the eyes of M le President.
“There is immense pride in our teams for reaching their finals. Already there are more eyes on rugby league in France than ever before. This is, in turn, good for our Elite competitions and for our national teams.
“The planets are aligned and, along with our candidacy to host RLWC2025, we have a massive opportunity to make a global impact and that is good for France but also good for rugby league around the world.
“If we manage to get two wins at the weekend, that would be perfect, but we already have achieved some success. There is more notice taken of our sport and the main impact will be on the finances that allow us to make further improvements to our competitions, our international programme and our youth development.”
FFRXIII has already made one significant appointment. Robert Cousty, who has tremendous experience with the French rugby union, has taken up the responsibility for the development of a player pathway to produce even more young French talent.
There is an opportunity too for fans around the world to get to know and support teams in the French Elite Championship. The season is about to begin, and it is largely played when the Super League and NRL competitions are in the off-season. M Lacoste sees more opportunities saying, “Last season we had games covered on the Via channel. This season we hope to improve that even further. Games will be shown on Via TV and Sport en France TV (both channels are accessible to everyone) and we hope to have every Elite 1 game available on-line. We are working to create options for fans wherever they may live. We want them to choose their favourite French team and follow them every week.
Lacoste is looking for new fans in France too, “Rugby League is an ultra-modern sport – fast, exciting, telegenic, constant action and lots of points scored. It is the perfect sport to enjoy live or on TV.”
FFRXIII now has a longer-term vision and has submitted a powerful and compelling dossier to the French government seeking support to host RLWC2025. Luc acknowledges the hard work and diligence applied to the application and the support received from within France and around the world. The attention generated by the Dragons and TO is also helpful and could get even bigger. News is expected from the government before the end of October – doigts croises!
Lacoste will be present at Old Trafford for Saturday’s game and then hot footing it back to Toulouse for their game on Sunday. It could be the most significant weekend in the long history of French rugby league, but he remains pragmatic, “We are making good progress on all fronts but step-by-step. We are all working together, the Federation, the Elite 1 and Elite 2 Clubs, the Dragons and TO, that ensures that we will all progress together and a new and exciting future for rugby league in France is possible.
“I would like to wish our friends and colleagues at the Dragons and TO the very best of luck, they have our total support.”