Newtown Rugby League Football Club - Established 1908
Rugby League in the south of France -
through the eyes of Luke Towers


[With many thanks to Guillaume Siret, a Grizzlies supporter, who put the questions to Luke for us.]

What's the difference between playing rugby league in France and Australia? In the way you train? On game day? In the refereeing?

Luke in action against Lézignan

Living and playing in France is nothing like I ever expected and is a great experience.

At training, some of the drills that the French trainers have set up for us are a bit out of the ordinary but because our coach is Daniel Wagon, most training is just the same as you would be doing at any club back in Australia.

The refereeing is very inconsistent. Head highs and errors can sometimes be missed very easily but on the other hand penalties are sometimes given for what I would say to be nothing, but I guess in any game, it depends on which referee you have.

Have you made friends with any of the supporters? Are the supporters close to the players as at the Jets and Roosters?

Every team in Australia seems to have their own committed supporters and that doesn't change across the globe.

I live in such a little town and when we have a home game, the whole town seems to be there watching us and supporting us. They are very passionate just like the Jets and Roosters supporters.

Although its sometimes hard to communicate with the fans we have around town, they seem to very grateful for the way our team has gone so far in the competition.

How does the football itself compare? Attack? Defence? Types of plays?

French football is different in so many ways to what I've ever played. The game is slower but very rough in defence and without the right referee, things can sometimes get out of hand.

Its all about points on the board and the French supporters are happy as long as the scoreboards is ticking over. Things like field goals at random times during the game and shots for penalty goals when the score shows the game is basically over are regular plays in France.

Who are the players in the team that you have struck up good combinations with?

On and off the field I've come close to my two room mates, Anthony Blackwood and Geraint Davies who are both from Wales.

All the aussies, including Daniel Wagon, Daniel Jimenez, Sam Key, Phil Rampage and myself spend every day together and have become great mates, which makes it even easier to play along side them.

I'm lucky to have so many English-speaking people in my team because at times its very difficult to communicate with my French team mates.

Do you and Jason see each other very often? How is Lopini going? Are they learning French?

When I first got to France, I spent a bit of time with Jason, which was helpful because he is fluent in French and taught me the basics but now that both our seasons are under way, I haven't seen much of him.

We plan on meeting up and doing a bit of travelling, when we have some time off.