Greenshields dares to live French dream - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Greenshields dares to live French dream

By Steve Jancetic 06/11/2009 07:38:34 PM Comments (0)

For most it appears an exercise in damage control, but Coffs Harbour-born France fullback Clint Greenshields refuses to give up on the dream of somehow conjuring up a miracle against rugby league powerhouse Australia on Saturday night.

"We can be competitive and I think that we've shown that we can," Greenshields said, pointing to France's two impressive first-half performances so far this Four Nations tournament.

"In the back of my mind ... if we can go into the second half with a better mentality than what we've done the last couple of weeks, anything can happen.

"There's 13 blokes on the field, there's the bounce of the ball, anything can happen. I'd like to say that we're a chance anyway."

While Greenshields's dream of a what would be one of sport's biggest upsets may seem far-fetched, so too would the thought of the former St George Illawarra custodian wearing the tri-colours of France.

Greenshields had a strong first season with the Dragons in 2006, but seeking a permanent starting berth and better financial security, he headed for Les Catalans Dragons in the Super League in 2007, where he played under former St George Illawarra lower grade coach Mick Potter.

He has been a shining light for the French side and recently re-signed through to the end of the 2011 season.

He admits to pangs of desire to come back to the NRL, never more so than when neighbour and Les Catalans teammate Jason Ryles told him he was headed back to Australia next season.

For now though, he is enjoying his first taste of international football, and the challenge of going up against the best in the world.

"It's a bit bizarre knowing how to feel at the moment," Greenshields said.

"Obviously it's the best standard of footy I've ever played and hopefully I can match the moment with the best footy I've played."

But while Greenshields dares to dream, French trainer and former Melbourne, NSW and Australian prop Rodney Howe offers the realistic perspective.

Knowing the standard of football Australian sides play, Howe said there was no way the home side could go with the best in the world.

"It's so hard for this team - we've got 13 guys from Catalans in the squad and then we've got ten guys that are semi-professional," Howe said.

"How do you compete against guys that have been professionals for years and are at the top of their game - it's just so different.

"You can't expect people who do a full week's work to come out on the weekend and compete against Greg Inglis and these types of players straight off the bat.

'It just doesn't work."

While the French had a run at Stade Chaterly - the match venue - on Thursday, the Australian team only arrived in Paris late in the afternoon.

They were guests of the Australian ambassador to France, David Ritchie, at the Australian embassy, where the greatest physical activity was jockeying for photographic positions in front of the Eiffel Tower backdrop.

The Kangaroos will have a walk around the venue on Friday, before holding a training session later in the day.

Hooker Robbie Farah has recovered from a virus and is expected to start the match in the No.9 jumper.

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