French roll out big guns

The French rugby league team had its second hit-out at Canberra Raiders headquarters yesterday ahead of its World Cup clash with Scotland on Sunday at Canberra Stadium.

The French will be relying on their size to help them remain in contention for a semi-final play-off spot, with several NRL players making appearances for the Scots.But France also has players with NRL experience, including former Raider and French captain Jerome Guisset, and second-rower Eric Anselme.

Anselme, who plays for Leeds Rhinos in the Super League, moved out to Australia in 1999 to have a stint with the Penrith Panthers, but struggled to make the grade. He played several premier league matches, but had to watch on as his close friend and countryman Guisset made his first-grade debut with the Raiders.

After coming to Canberra to visit Guisset in 1999, it brings back great memories to return, this time alongside Guisset.

"It was really good back then with Penrith," he said.

"But now I'm just excited about coming to Australia a great country to play rugby league in. It was one of my dreams to come over, and now to play for my country in a World Cup, it's great."Anselme said it was an honour to be able to train at the Raiders' facilities.

"I think the facilities are quite similar especially at Leeds but it's good to be part of the facilities of the Raiders.

"They are a very great club. I remember as a young guy in France I grew up watching Mal Meninga."He said the Scots would be a tough challenge on Sunday, and after a quiet lead-up in Queensland last week, Anselme and the French were getting serious about the task."At the start we were in Caloundra, where we were doing some serious training but under less pressure. But this week we need to start to build our training and game condition."It's a World Cup so I think it will be very tough, we need to take the game serious. We need to think about our discipline, take it very hard."