Eagles set for France

Bon voyage: Eagles players heading to France to play rugby league are (from left) Chris Standing, club president Daniel Draper, Mason Talolua and Jarryd Eggleton. Picture: Simon Bennett
Bon voyage: Eagles players heading to France to play rugby league are (from left) Chris Standing, club president Daniel Draper, Mason Talolua and Jarryd Eggleton. Picture: Simon Bennett
Bon voyage: Eagles players heading to France to play rugby league are (from left) Chris Standing, club president Daniel Draper, Mason Talolua and Jarryd Eggleton. Picture: Simon Bennett

Bon voyage: Eagles players heading to France to play rugby league are (from left) Chris Standing, club president Daniel Draper, Mason Talolua and Jarryd Eggleton. Picture: Simon Bennett

EAST Campbelltown Eagles Rugby League Football Club is continuing its tradition of sending its players to play in France during the Australian off-season.

Prop Mason Talolua will play for Albi Tigers. Winger Chris Standing and second rower Jarryd Eggleton will join Cahors Blue Devils in the French Elite Two Championship.

The three want to match the success of former Eagles players Michael Stevens and Leigh Middlemass, who both played for Cahors Blue Devils, in the Midi-Pyrenees region of southern France last season.

They had an immediate impact in their first game when Stevens scored four tries and kicked six goals from seven attempts and Middlemass scored three tries for their team which went on to win the region competition.

The players will also follow in the footsteps of Eagles president Daniel Draper, who played for Cahors in 1999-2000 and was instrumental in forming a partnership with the French clubs.

Draper, who visited France earlier this year to watch Middlemass and Stevens, was contacted by Cahors club member Bernard Baldy, who asked for a couple of Australians to play in France this season.

"My wife and I went over to see the boys play and I was very proud to see the guys do so well," Draper said.

"As we were there, we were fortunate enough to see another Eagles player, Will Mataka, win the final for Pia in the Elite Division One Championship.

"It's great to see young men get the opportunity to live in another country and get such a great experience.

"It's an awesome experience to be able to give these guys."

Talolua, who has played for more than 10 years for the Eagles, flew out last week to join his French club.

"Mason was instrumental in the Eagles undefeated premiership win in the Group 6 first grade competition last year and had a fantastic season for the Wests Magpies that recently, narrowly lost in the finals series," Draper said.

"If he goes well he could be recruited to the Elite Division One Championship for Avignon."

Standing and Eggleton, also long-serving Eagles players and members of the 2012 Clayton Cup-winning team, will also soon head to France.

Draper hopes the rapport struck up with the French club could lead to Eagles players displaying their skills in France on an annual basis.