CAMPBELLTOWN Eagles rugby league players Michael Stevens and Leigh Middlemass have temporarily left the Campbelltown club to play rugby league in France.
The Eagles pair flew out last week to play in the south-west of France, near Toulouse, for six months for Cahors Blue Devils in the French Rugby League's Elite Two Championship.
Stevens has been appointed as the team's captain/coach.
They will follow in the footsteps of Eagles development and coaching co-ordinator Daniel Draper, who played for Cahors in 1999-2000.
Former Western Suburbs Magpies player and coach Leo Epifania was another player who played for Cahors.
Draper was contacted by Cahors club member Bernard Baldy, who asked for a couple of Australians to play in France this season.
Draper said the rapport with the French club and the Eagles could develop into a partnership that could see some Eagles players playing in France on an annual basis during the Australian off-season
"It is great to give local players an opportunity to play in another country," Draper said.
"I would love to do this every year and organise players to go over.
"It was one of the best experiences I've had and it would be great to see other local players get that experience."
The Campbelltown duo made an immediate impact in their first game on Sunday.
Cahors defeated Gratentour XIII 56-26. Stevens scored four tries and kicked six goals from seven attempts. Leigh Middlemass scored three tries.