Wigan Warriors Women: France international Lauréane Biville discusses her move to the club and her rugby league background

Wigan Warriors Women’s new recruit Lauréane Biville hopes her move to Super League can show other French players they can follow a similar path.
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The 23-year-old, who can play centre and second-row, has arrived at Robin Park Arena for the remainder of the season, and brings experience from a spell in Australia to Kris Ratcliffe’s squad.

Biville has been involved in rugby for over 10 years, and states she’s always eager to achieve new goals.

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She said: “I’m super excited to be in Super League, not just for me as a women’s player, but for the next generation.

Lauréane Biville has joined Wigan Warriors Women for the rest of the season (Credit: John Baldwin)Lauréane Biville has joined Wigan Warriors Women for the rest of the season (Credit: John Baldwin)
Lauréane Biville has joined Wigan Warriors Women for the rest of the season (Credit: John Baldwin)

“In France some people think they can’t play in England or Australia because it’s too high a level, but if you have the courage to come then you can do it.

“We all play rugby in my family, one of my brothers has played for the national team as well, when he was young.

“Our parents have always been very supportive and have sacrificed a lot of time and money for us, so it’s about giving back through what we do.

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“They are always with us, we call them before and after games.

“I was 12-years-old when I first started playing, which is quite late. I didn’t even know there was a national team, until I got selected to be part of an academy where the coach told me about it and said I could play in a World Cup.

“It wasn’t my goal at first, but it quickly became one.

“I worked really hard and first got selected for France when I was 17.

“We wanted to make the World Cup in 2017, but because of some issues we didn’t do it, so I had to find another goal, and someone told me I could play somewhere else.

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“I’ve always wanted to see what rugby was like in other countries.

“I enjoy going to different places in the world, because it also helps the French team to see where we can evolve.

“When someone said I could go and play in Australia, then it became my new goal.

“When I went there, I felt at home immediately. I moved over when I was 19, so I was quite young, and I’d never done a big move like that before.

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“I was surprised by how easily I adapted. Changing your lifestyle in another country can help your game, and I think that’s why I improved a lot.

“The deal was to spend three or four seasons over there, but after one and a half I had to go back to France (because of the Covid-19 pandemic).

“It was hard to go back because I was pretty close to reaching my goal of signing a contract in NRLW competition, but I realised I had achieved a lot of things that nobody had done before.

“I was sad, but grateful and happy at the same time.”

Biville says her move to Wigan has been in the works for quite a while, but had to complete her studies as a personal trainer and a fitness coach before she could come over.

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“Kris (Ratcliffe) spoke to me a few months ago now,” she added.

“I was at University in France meaning I couldn’t just leave again because I really wanted to finish my degree, so we had to wait a little longer.

“I know a little bit about Wigan’s men's team because we watch Super League, but not much about the women’s because there’s not a lot of information and the games aren’t on a platform we can watch.

“I knew it was a really good club, that’s like a big family, which is why I said yes to coming.

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“It’s a pretty new competition too so I’m grateful to be a part of it, even if it’s for a short time.

“In France it’s the off-season, so I want to stay active. I didn’t want to stop training because we’ve got the World Cup in less than four months, so it’s good for me to come here.

“I think I can give the team a little bit of my experience because I’ve had the chance to play in different countries at a very high level.

“I’ll also learn a lot from the girls around me too.

“I’m very calm on the field and I’m always talking. I’m the kind of player who will keep pushing everyone, even if we are tired.

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“I can run and take the ball, but being here mentally for the girls will bring the most.

“The coaching staff and the girls have been very welcoming.

“Rachel (Thompson) has taken me round Robin Park, and it’s very different to what we have in France. We don’t have a stadium like that for rugby, they have everything. It’s crazy looking round, I feel like a kid.”

Biville’s first experience of the Warriors was the men’s 60-0 victory over Hull FC.

The 23-year-old travelled straight from the airport and arrived at the DW Stadium just in time to see Bevan French’s record-breaking seven tries.

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“It was a good game, well not for the other team, but for Wigan it was really good,” she stated.

“It was good to discover the stadium, the fans and all of the good vibes. It was a good experience for my first night.

“I hope for the girls in Wigan, and Super League in general, that people are interested in their games too, because even though it’s not men, it’s still rugby league.”