As Mitchell Pearce is jetting off to France to play with the Catalans Dragons in Super League replacing James Maloney, French forward Clément Boyer will be heading the other way seeking a rugby league home in Australia for the 2022 season.
Boyer told Everything Rugby League that playing his chosen sport in Australia will be the culmination of a long held dream.
“The experience and the opportunity to play where rugby league is king has been a dream for me for a long time. I also like discovering the level of requirement and training of the teams. I love the new challenges,” said Boyer, who is hoping to get a start in the second tier NSW or Qld Cup competition.”
The prop, who can also play lock or back row, is currently playing for Carcassonne XIII in the French Elite One competition and has enlisted the services of Endeavour Sports Group to secure a playing contract in Australia.
Endeavour principal agent Bob Henderson told Everything Rugby League it will be a gauge of where France’s top domestic competition is positioned as far as playing standard.
“Clément has engaged us to pursue rugby league opportunities for him at the highest level. The challenge is to match him with a level that is challenging but achievable. He has a desire to grow his game and become accustomed to the physical demands of training and game situations here. Clearly he is a talented athlete so hopefully the transition will be smooth.
“It will be an interesting exercise for other French players hoping to play here as Clément’s experiences will provide the evidence of where the domestic French Elite One competition is at,” Henderson said.
“Clem is a seasoned player at the French Elite One level with Carcassonne XIII. He has also played for Toulouse, and Halifax in the English Super League. Proudly, he has worn the French national jersey on five occasions. He is an athletic, aggressive and physically strong player who excels in the middle third of the field dominating the ruck area which is vital in the modern game.”
Boyer, who last played for ‘les Chanticleers’ in 2017 is hoping a stint on the other side of the world will be the catalyst for a call up to the French World Cup squad next year.
“It was a huge source of pride for me to represent my country in front of my family. It’s a memory that will forever be etched in my memory.
“It is my goal to participate in the next World Cup and I think that coming to Australia to test a championship can be a springboard for (selection in) the France team.”
Are you ready for 9am tomorrow?! 🙌
All the nations are signed up and committed to 2022. New schedule tomorrow!
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 18, 2021
In the past French players such as Remi Casty (Sydney Roosters) and Jerome Guisset (Canberra Raiders) have played in the NRL while Catalans and French international prop Paul Seguier is currently seeking a contract with an NRL club.
Henderson anticipates with the apparent revival of the game in France there will be a steady stream of players looking to test themselves in the best competitions in the world.
“At Endeavour we hold a special place for players from other parts of the world. We aim to support rugby league emerging nations and provide opportunities for players to come to Australia to develop and learn.
“France appear to be re-emerging from a dormant phase with a refreshed administration and an enthusiastic approach to return to top flight rugby league. Hopefully, the next RLWC will be held in France and would support that program, however in the interim it is essential that the rugby league community can assist with developing and growing their domestic player base.
“I admire his (Boyer’s) personal courage in seeking to come to Australia. The challenges for a person who speaks broken English are real as are exposure to a vastly different culture here in Australia. But Clem is enthusiastic about what lays ahead and the challenges that he faces in his new environment. We are working towards building a support structure around him and his partner so that his journey and adventure is all encompassing, successful and enjoyable.”