Warriors duo named in France squad

Morgan Escare
Morgan Escare

Wigan Warriors Morgan Escare and Romain Navarrete have been named in a 29-strong France squad for a get-together in Port Barcares later this month.

Escare, now in his second season with Wigan, missed the World Cup due to injury and a loss of form but has been called up by coach Aurelien Cologni, along with his Warriors team-mate Navarrete.

Gigot missed the World Cup after being suspended by the French anti-doping authority for a rule violation.

There is a first call-up for Australian centre or second rower Rhys Curran, 28, who began his career with Wests Tigers in the NRL but has spent the last five years in France, initially with Villeneuve and for the last two-and-a-half seasons with Toulouse, so qualifies under the residency rule.

“At the age of 28, he is able to bring us plenty of experience in this transition period,” Cologni said.

Curran is one of 11 players from Toulouse, a number matched by Catalans Dragons, while St Helens stand-off Theo Fages keeps his place after leading France in the World Cup in the absence of Remi Casty.

The England-based players are likely to be excused the meet-up on April 23, which will double up as a debrief into France’s World Cup campaign and the first stage of Cologni’s preparations for the end-of-season European Championship.

With an eye also on the 2021 World Cup, Cologni has called up Catalans juniors Mickael Goudemand, Louis Carre and Arthur Mourgue alongside his 29 senior players.

Squad: M Kheirallah, R Curran, W Barthau, P Marcon, S Robin, C Boyer, B Ader, B Canet, A Marion, G Marguerite, T Maurel (all Toulouse), M Escare, R Navarrete (both Wigan), F Yaha, T Gigot, L Albert, A Da Costa, T Margalet, J Baitieri, R Casty, M Simon, B Jullien, B Garcia, J Bousquet, M Goudemand, L Carre, A Mourgue (all Catalans), D Cardace (Lezignan), T Fages (St Helens), M Herold, V Yesa (both Limoux), I Bergal (Leigh).