11 hours ago
John Monie says France will need all their discipline to follow up its record-breaking European Nations Cup victory over Wales last weekend with another strong showing against Australia at Aime Giral Stadium in Perpignan.
Recruited on a three-month deal by the French Rugby League to help get the 13-man game back on track, Monie has cut an initial 40-man squad down to 20 players who captured the European Cup at the weekend.
But the Australian-born coach, with ample experience in Australia and Great Britain, accepts the task of competing against the touring Kangaroos will be a monumental one to say the least.
Physically, the French aren't big enough to contain Australia.
But Monie was impressed with their newfound discipline and character against Wales which they'll need to reproduce when the Kangaroos put them under a different kind of pressure on Sunday.
"It got a bit rugged and willing against the Welsh guys and I thought our blokes showed a lot of discipline and didn't give away any cheap penalties," said Monie.
"At one stage they defended three or four repeat sets of six and kept it together which is unheard of for the French.
"But Australia is a side that can whack 50 points on any side - Great Britain or New Zealand - so we know what we are up against and we know we need to show a lot of character to stay with them.
"I just want the guys to play well, and not give in."Australia, rattled by injuries to Lockyer, Hindmarsh and also Lockyer's likely replacement, Trent Barrett, will name it's team tomorrow with Roosters utility, Craig Wing flying in from holidaying Hawaii to join the Kangaroo's camp.
Monie said the injury setbacks would not make life any easier for the French with the players Australia coach Wayne Bennett promotes certain to be keen to use the opportunity to impress.
"There's no such thing as a weakened or under-strength Australia side, you know those guys picked will rise to the occasion, so it doesn't make our task any easier," he said.
Monie said development officers had been appointed around the outlying areas of Paris to find some junior talent among players in their late teens who had the size and mobility to play rugby league like Australian players.
"We've got some weight training programs in place to get some 18, 19 and 20-year-olds up to the physical standard required to compete internationally," said Monie.
"Right now our back-rowers aren't big or physical enough to compete against the powers like Australia or New Zealand.
"We need to develop forward who can play on the edges of the rucks and in the backs.
Wingers Frederic Zitter, who played for Barrow in England, and Olivier Charles, who Monie found running around in the juniors, have impressed him enough to play all four games under his coaching stint.
He said prop Jerome Guisset, a former NRL forward who now plays for English club Wigan, was a goer along with fellow prop David Ferriol from Limoux.
Monie also said UTC hooker David Berthezene had plenty of ability.
The French squad is: Renaud Guigue (UTC), Frederic Zitter (Barrow), Teddy Sadaoui (UTC), Jerome Hermet (Villeneuve), Olivier Charles (Junior), Laurent Frayssinous (UTC), Julian Rinaldi (UTC), Jerome Guisset (Wigan), David Berethezene (UTC) David Ferriol (Limoux), Jamal Fakir (UTC), Aurelien Cologni (St Gaudens), Christophe Moly (Carcassonne), Maxime Creseque (PIA), Adel Fellous (UTC), Christophe Borlin (St Gaudens), Gregory Mounis (UTC) Sebastian Raguin (Toulouse) one to be ommitted.