“It’s awesome for the game to expand” – Dominique Peyroux on the status of rugby league in France

Many saw Toulouse’s promotion to Super League as a major step in the right direction for rugby league.

Now with two French sides in the top flight, one of which seems like a major contender for Super League glory, and with a World Cup waiting in France come 2025, it feels like the game is about to fully re-emerge in France.

Granted Toulouse’s return to Super League didn’t get off to the best start with a 42-14 defeat to Huddersfield before they were beaten by Salford 38-12 and things don’t get any easier with them welcoming fancied Warrington this evening. Nonetheless, there’s a real good feeling around their Super League arrival especially if they recruit as they hope to do so in the next few weeks.

Speaking ahead of Super League’s launch, former Super League Champion Dominique Peyroux spoke about about his views on the game in France and the need to capitalise on the expansion into France and the appeal of being apart of this at Toulouse.

“So much pressure comes from advancing into Super League from the Championship,” Peyroux said, “That was appealing to me, the journey they’ve been on and it means a lot to these French boys having another French team in there. It’s good for rugby league, it expands the game and I’m sure everyone’s happy with that in Super League. It means a lot to everyone here in France.”

On this train of thought, he also spoke about the importance of having a French derby in Super League even comparing it to one of the biggest games in the division: “There’s a bit of a rivalry there between Toulouse and Catalans, it’s only going to be good for the game and good for the city and it’s going to sell a lot of tickets and financially it’s going to be awesome.

“I’ve been a part of St Helens-Wigan derbies and they’re just amazing to be a part of so I can’t wait for that day.”

Of course, another key part of the expansion into France is the 2025 World Cup which Peyroux described as “awesome.”

“It’s awesome for the game to expand,” he said, “I think everyone in France are happy with that.

“The top games that are played here are obviously football and rugby union so it would be awesome for rugby league to make this stand in France to expand the game so everyone’s happy and excited for the 2025 World Cup.”

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