Wigan Warriors: Matty Peet hopes his players can create some memories in France but states rugby remains the main focus

Wigan Warriors head coach Matty Peet says rugby league will be the main focus of their trip to France but will allow his squad to explore their surroundings.

His side will take part in two back-to-back games across the English Channel, taking on Toulouse Olympique and Catalans Dragons.

The squad will be based in three places during their time in France, starting off in Toulouse, before moving onto Montpellier and Perpignan.

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Peet said: “Straightaway we thought it was a good idea, and Kris (Radlinski) and Ian (Lenagan) have pieced it together to make it happen.

Matty Peet wants to create memories for Wigan in FranceMatty Peet wants to create memories for Wigan in France
Matty Peet wants to create memories for Wigan in France

“We will be training and working hard, but we will also be giving the lads space and time, to get out and sample some of the French culture, to get amongst the places we are staying. We are taking the opportunity to put the lads in different environments.

“We are going with some clear objectives, and part of that is to spend some quality time together. We want to make sure we don’t crowd the players with content and endless meetings, so we will give them that free time.

“Hopefully we can build some connections and create some memories, but first and foremost it is about the two performances and making sure we continue to improve for the season ahead. Rugby league is the absolute priority.

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Peet says he hopes to interact with any fans who are also making the trip to France to support the club.

“The fans are on the same journey as us, and we want those shared experiences with them,” he added.

“Hopefully anyone who is over there will get time to interact with the players, we will make ourselves available.

“We are very appreciative, and endeavour to be a team they can be proud of.”

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Despite Toulouse losing all three of their Super League games so far this season, Peet still believes his side cannot underestimate them.

“They haven’t made the best start but are improving,” he said.

“We would always give them the respect they deserve and expect a quality performance from ourselves. The warning signs were there against Warrington, that the win is not too far away, and they are getting to grips with Super League.

“(Tony) Gigot is always an exciting player and a threat, and does the unexpected. They’ve got big aggressive middles. I think (Guy) Armitage in the centre is someone who carries the ball really strong. Matty Russell has always been a thorn in our side, I could go on.

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“Across the board they look like a committed bunch. They have plenty of players who can threaten or damage us if we are in the slightest bit off the mark.”

Peet is also happy with the direction his own team are going, and is particularly happy that none of his players have picked up any form of suspension or card so far this campaign.

“It is something we are talking about internally and are working very hard on,” he explained.

“It’s not just on the field and the way we practice, it’s also about culture, mentality, and having a clear level emotional state.

“On the whole I’m pleased with the way the group has connected and how we are building. I feel we are developing week on week, and buying into the new processes, but there are areas we need to sharpen up.

“The Huddersfield game gave us a solid test and highlighted areas we can work on. There were times when we gave up too many metres, and the contact area wasn’t good enough.

“We didn’t implement our structures well enough. We have been praised for the way we have played off structure, but that only comes when we are precise in our methods.”

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