Local Name: Republique francaise
Team Name: Les Bleus
Nicknames: Les Chanticleers/Les Tricolores
Colours: Blue, Red and White
First WC Appearance: 1954
No. Of RLWC Titles: 0
Governing Body: Federation Francaise de Rugby a XIII
France Rugby League Test Match Previews and Score Predictions
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French National Rugby League Team
Having been runners up and hosted the world cup in the past, France have a long pedigree in the International game and thanks to the Catalans Dragons offering a route into full time professional Rugby League for many French players, the future of International Rugby League is also looking good.
France have disappointed at the highest stage in the main although they have did reach the Quarter-Final stage of the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. On the plus side the develop of French rugby league players has been boosted by having the Catalans Dragons play in the Super League and now players can also play full time for Toulouse. This development over the channel in France has led to an increase in French players plying their trade over in the UK with many English Super League sides featuring French players.
All of which give the French national test side much more strength in depth and hopefully that can equate to the French showing much better form and becoming one of the very best international rugby league test teams.
Colours and Kit
As you would expect from a French national team, the colours of their playing kit are made up from the colours of the French flag. Whilst the kit does change from one major tournament to the next, it does tend to be predominately blue with a red or white (sometimes both) chevron on the chest and shoulders.
The shorts tend to be blue whilst socks can be interchangeable from white to red.
The French are one of the of the most successful countries in Europe and have enjoyed multiple titles in the European Championship starting in the 1938-39 edition and with wins more recently in 2011 and 2018.
Les Bleus have also enjoyed success on the world stage and although they have yet to pick up a RLWC title, they have finished runners up in both 1954 and 1968.
The French national side have featured a number of stars down the years, with many been dual-code stars. What has been the big problem for them has been getting a group of stars together to create a truly competitive team.
Amongst the biggest names to feature for them down the years have been the likes of Jean Dop, Jean Galia, Max Rousie, Jacques Merquey, Gilbert Banausse, Georges Ailleres, Joel Roosebrouck, Jean-Pierre Clar, Fabrice Estebanex and arguably the biggest star of them all, Puig Aubert.
During the Super League era, there have also been a number of players to have become top players including the likes of Jason Baitieri, Theo Fages, Remi Casty, Julian Bousquet, Fouad Yaha and Thomas Bosc.
The story of Rugby League in France is one that could and should be made into a Hollywood blockbuster as it features lots of big moments, great actions, huge matches, lots of mystery, plenty of illegal activity, lots of political infighting and a rival code trying to drive the sport out of existence in by any means necessary including doing deals with the Vichy Government and the Nazi Party.
With so much happening away from the field, it is perhaps no surprise that the on field performances of the French side have consistently been up and down and just when the country look to be the next break out nation, things fall away.
The French national Rugby league side, the FFR XIII, were established way back in 1934 when a representative side crossed the channel and went on tour of England.
The country made headlines in 1954 when they not only took part in the first ever Rugby World Cup but they were the host nation, although the fact that the host country did make it through to the final left the first ever final did not stop it from been played in front of a paltry crowd.
The glory years of the French national side took place in the 1950’s and 1960s when the country could not only match the giants of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand but they could also defeat them.
Led by the likes of Puig Aubert, the French made it to the final of the RLWC in 1968 as well, which came on the back of defeating the Kangaroos in both 1963 and in a 1967-68 series.
Since then the country have been a country who continually qualify for the Rugby League World Cup and can enjoy wins at that level but who constantly come up short against the top nations.
France have become one of the most dominant teams in European action and have enjoyed numerous wins the in the European Championship.
Nowadays, the majority of the French national team comes from either the Catalans Dragons or Toulouse Olympique, as the 2 full time French sides but they also feature players from across the channel at Super league and Championship sides as well as players who ply their trade in the domestic French competition known as Elite 1.
As one of the top countries in Europe, many of the biggest matches the country play can be bet on by the best online bookmakers, with our picks available on this page.