France’s three-year plan: 2022 World Cup preview


France come into the World Cup as the underdogs with a young squad, but coach Laurent Frayssinous is already eyeing up a bright future.

For the first time in their history Les Bleus have a full squad of full time professional Rugby League players. However, they are a young side that is focused on building for the future before getting ahead of themselves.

Currently ranked eighth in the world, they have a very slim chance of coming away from this particular tournament with any silverware, but coach Frayssinous has been very clear that they are building a platform to work off, calling it a three-year plan.

Of course, in three years’ time the 2025 World Cup hosted by France themselves, will be getting underway. By then France will have developed a lot of youth and will hope to have a team that can challenge the world’s best.

Frayssinous has continuously mentioned his sides progression being a long-term project, and has stated that the pressure is not on his team this tournament:

“We’ve brought young French talent, and we will be looking at them for the future.

“We have always had the pressure, and it’s a building progress to stop having that type of pressure on us from here, onwards to the World Cup in 2025.

“We have to be realistic about where we are and build on it from here. We are not coming for one shot, we are coming here for the future, so we have to make sure we keep on working together to progress this project.”

As for this year’s tournament, Les Bleus will be without three of their key players including their captain, Theo Fages, hindering their chances at making it further than the group stages. Nevertheless, as Frayssinous stated, it gives them a great opportunity to develop young players for the future.

France have appeared in all 15 World Cup’s so far, having never won the tournament. However, they did come runners-up in two editions of the competition in 1954 and 1968. Their chances look very slim in 2022, but as the underdogs the pressure should be off and maybe they can surprise a few people.

21 of France’s 24-man squad play for a French club. With Toulouse’s relegation out of the Super League, only 14 of their 24-man squad, play in an elite level competition, which looks quite worrying for them.

Catalan Dragons forward, Benjamin Garcia was asked if he was confident heading into the tournament, he replied by saying:

“We have a young squad; I think maybe we are building for the next World Cup. We are missing that bit of experience, but we want to delight the supporters.”

French supporters will be hoping their young squad can adjust to the high level quickly and give the competition a good run, although they can definitely be excited about what is to come in the next few years.


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