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France vs Lebanon
The Rugby League World Cup continues when Canberra Stadium plays host to France and Lebanon this afternoon. Join The Roar for a live blog of the match starting from 4pmAEDT.
In what has been a thoroughly entertaining RLWC thus far, both of these international sides get their respective campaigns underway in the nation’s capital today.
Lebanon, coached by Brad Fittler, look to be a decent side. They are boasting some significant NRL talent, not least in the form of skipper Robbie Farah.With Mitchell Moses calling the shots in the backs, and Tim Mannah and Michael Lichaa working together up front, this is a really solid Lebanon side.Interestingly, this is Lebanon’s second ever world cup appearance. They last appeared on the world stage some 17 years ago at the turn of the millennium. They are a much better side than back then, and could make a decent run at this tournament.
France on the other hand, are harder to predict. While League in France has grown considerably in recent years, not least with the introduction of the Catalan Dragons to the Super League, as well as Toulouse in the league below – their squad looks quite bare, and definitely short of some of the quality that Lebanon possess.
Their stars are undoubtedly their halves – Theo Fages and William Barthau. If they have off afternoons, I can’t see the French offering much in the way of attack.
That being said, they did make the quarters in the 2013 edition of the Rugby League World Cup. They’ll carry the underdog tag into this one for mine, however.