With four new clubs added to the NRLW competition this year it’s the perfect opportunity for French international Lauréane Biville to join her ‘bestie’ Perrine Monsarrat in Australia and realise a dream that was cut short in 2020 due to the global pandemic. However immigration policies may prove to be the stumbling block for the 23 year old centre/backrower.
“Since I was forced to return to France due to COVID-19, I always kept in my mind that one day I will return to Australia to finish what I started over there,” Biville told Everything Rugby League.
“But it is more difficult now that I already used my working holiday visa. That means I would need a sporting visa with a club. This has never happened yet so it seems impossible to me.”
Biville’s friend and Racing Club Lescure Arthes XIII team mate Monsaratt recently arrived in Sydney linking up with the Roosters. The French international centre is playing in the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership for the Central Coast Roosters in a bid to secure an NRLW contract.
“I think it’s the best thing that could happen to her,” Biville said.
“She deserves it more than anybody else. She dreams of being a full time athlete. Rugby league is her life. She wakes up, eats, sleeps rugby league and always wants to get better. I’m super proud and happy Trent Robinson gave her this opportunity.”
Meanwhile after a busy 2022, which included the World Cup and stints with Wigan and rugby union in France, Biville has no plans to slow down this year.
“Last year was busy but I loved it. For 2023 I would love to go back to play for Wigan. I really enjoyed my experience last year even if it was for 2 months, but I loved the club and the team. So Wigan first and then see if I can play overseas. My dream is still to be a full time athlete, so I’ll keep working hard for it.”
France returns to the international scene on March 18 when they take on Serbia in Avignon and Biville says the Chanticleers will showcase a number of new players in the match which will be followed by a test against England in April.
“To be honest, I don’t know anything about the Serbian team, but it’s exciting to play against an up and coming side.
Our oldest and most experienced players retired after the World Cup, and our captain Alice (Varela). We are building a new team, with young girls, so for this game we are just gonna play together and obviously we wanna win.”
France were unable to secure a win in what turned out to be a tough group in the recent World Cup but Biville believes it has made the squad even more focussed on the hard work required to achieve their goals.
“We knew when we saw the group that it would be hard for us. But we always went on the field with the intention to do our best. So yes we lost and it was hard, but we built a strong team, we were supporting each others, we saw where we were and what we had to work on for the next World Cup.
“Now the only thing we have and need to do, is to change our mentality, finally think and act like hight level athletes, and work really hard to improve our level. Playing in our club is not enough anymore and we need to realise that. It’s a lot of sacrifices but that’s the price we have to pay if we want to win an international game.”
After making her international debut at 17 and the excitement of France hosting the World Cup in 2025 to look forward to, Biville says she gets the same thrill each time she represents her country over the last seven years.
“When I look at how I felt on my first international game when I was 17, and how I felt on the field during the World Cup, there is no difference. I’m still extremely grateful each time I wear the French jersey. I love to represent my country and see if I’m better than the girl in front of me. I still have this adrenalin 30 seconds before kick off and I hope it will never end. It’s a lot of sacrifices, lots of work, especially when you love to play for many different clubs as I do, and always try to get better. But when you love a sport, you just keep all the unforgettable moments.”
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