sport

Dragons out to impress Agar

Catalan Dragons boss Laurent Frayssinous hopes his players will impress when new France coach Richard Agar arrives with Wakefield this week.

Agar, who was a shock appointment as the new French coach a week ago, flies out with the Wildcats squad to Barcelona on Thursday to prepare for Saturday's Super League clash, having already done his homework on the opposition in the build-up to the World Cup.

On the outside it may seem strange for a coach to be planning to defeat the set of players he will be hoping to inspire to victories later in the year but Agar insists his focus for now is strictly on his Super League club.

"We've had to put the 40-man squad together this week for France to announce at the weekend and it's fair to say most of the guys playing for Catalan at the weekend will be in the squad," Agar said.

"It's been good to have a close look at them but at the same time my focus has very much been about how much we're going to put in a performance against them this week."

Frayssinous, who had been an early candidate for the French job, has offered his assistance to Agar, who he feels was the right man to succeed Bobbie Goulding.

"It's a good appointment," Frayssinous said. "I have been lucky enough to share ideas with him and he's a very good guy.

"The French national team needed a Super League coach, someone at that level, and Richard ticks all the boxes.

"I talked to him last weekend for an hour and I will help him as much as I can. We've got the same interest in wanting the France national team to perform at the World Cup."

Frayssinous expects around 15 of his Dragons players to make the French team and believes they will be out to catch Agar's eye at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

"I think the boys at the back of their minds will want to impress Richard," he said. "They all want to be candidates."

Catalan's Australian scrum-half Scott Dureau could come into consideration for France in the World Cup when he qualifies on the three-year residency ruling in October but he will definitely not figure in Saturday's match.

He missed the start of the season after having a tumour removed from behind an eye and, after being given the all-clear by the specialist, arrived in Perpignan on Tuesday.

"It's great to have Scotty back but I don't know when he'll be back playing," Frayssinous said.

"We'll start slowly. Two months ago, I didn't expect to have him here today.

"He's done some jogging and swimming and he'll do some training with us tomorrow but I don't want to pressure him. It's a matter of making progress a day at a time."