Catalans Dragons coach Trent Robinson believes the recruitment of a top Great Britain star would do wonders for the sport’s profile in France.
By his own recognition the Dragons don’t get as much media coverage as their British based rivals and believes that such a signing would certainly help. Robinson also thinks it would gain them more creditability as a force to be reckoned with in Super League.
Speaking to PROBIZ Tryline, he said: “It’s vital for our exposure in England that opening the door to an English player coming down to the Catalans in France is an important one for us in the near future.”
The lack of coverage for the Dragons is despite the fact that all their home matches are shown live on Orange television across France. The TV agreement is up for renewal at the end of the season and he would like to see it go to a free to air broadcaster to boost the audience.
In light of the lack of media exposure, the Dragons head coach has also paid tribute to their fans.
He complimented them by saying: “These people love their sport, they are passionate about it, they are knowledgeable about it and they’re loyal.
“If you’re a fan of rugby league in France then you have to be a true fan. They have to search out the information, go and watch games, they come and watch training and that’s makes it special, for me especially.”
Robinson himself only joined the Dragons in the off-season, but he is very familiar with rugby league in France, having previously played for and coached Championship side Toulouse.
The former Newcastle Knights assistant succeeded fellow Australian Kevin Walters in the hot-seat in Perpignan, and is keen to make changes quickly as he attempts to move the club in the right direction.
One of the first changes at the Dragons is that French is now the signature language of the club. That may sound strange for a side based in the south of France but, when speaking to PROBIZ Tryline last season, predecessor Walters admitted one of his major mistakes was not learning the language.
However, Robinson’s main objective is to see more and more French youngsters playing the sport at the highest levels, in the Dragons first-team.
In the latest edition of PROBIZ Tryline, Robinson also gives his views on the travel and training requirements, negotiations with the RFL about coverage and stigma of their on field performances as to how the club are viewed by fans. He purveys a positive message from the south of France and is obviously ambitious for his new employers both on and off the field.
As ever, your team will also get plenty of airtime as we pack in all the recent news from Super League, while The Independent’s Dave Hadfield will give you the lowdown on the latest round of action as well as passing on his views on the Willie Mason/Michael Dobson registration situation at Hull KR.