French dream of miracle upset

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.

“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’ dream of a what would be one of sport’s biggest upsets may seem far-fetched, so too was 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 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. For now though, he is enjoying his first taste of international football, and the challenge of going up against the best in the world.

But 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.

Kiwis face Poms

MANLY teenager Kieran Foran will make his rugby league Test debut for New Zealand tonight fully expecting to be dropped after just one game.

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney delivered a selection surprise by naming 19-year-old Foran in the centres as a replacement for Steve Matai (eye) for this weekend’s Four Nations match against England in Huddersfield. In doing so, Kearney again overlooked the claims of Parramatta’s Krisnan Inu while the Sydney Roosters’ Sia Soliola stays in the back row.

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