East Campbelltown Eagles scoop up French recruit

NEW HOME: French recruit Raphael Cousin is keen to score tries for the East Campbelltown Eagles at Waminda Oval. Picture: Chris Lane
NEW HOME: French recruit Raphael Cousin is keen to score tries for the East Campbelltown Eagles at Waminda Oval. Picture: Chris Lane

The East Campbelltown Eagles have a secret weapon in their charge towards a premiership title.

And he comes from halfway around the world.

The Eagles have signed Frenchman Raphael Cousin for the remainder of 2019 as the side aims to defend its NSWRL Sydney Shield first grade title.

The 21-year-old arrives with an impressive resume, having played for prestigious rugby league clubs Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique.

Cousin stands at 180 centimetres tall and tips the scales at 85 kilograms.

East Campbelltown club president Daniel Draper told the Advertiser the Eagles were thrilled to sign the dynamic centre.

"Speed is his asset but Raphael is strong for a centre too," he said.

"His focus in on getting experience in Australia. All the boys like him and he's fitting in well."

The Cousin signing continues the Eagles' tradition of a special bond with French rugby league clubs.

That "French connection" began when Draper played for French club Cahors in 1999 and 2000.

Cousin is complementing his Eagles commitments by training with the Wests Magpies' Ron Massey Cup squad.

He is staying with the Draper family during his Macarthur stint.

"We have a habit of looking after the French," Draper said.

Cousin said he heard about East Campbelltown from two former Eagles, Ronnie Palumba and Andrew Faigatusa, while at the Toulouse club last year.

The Toulouse local said he was excited to play for the Eagles and experience Australia's culture.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to play in Australia," Cousin said.

"The weather is very different here to Europe and people are different - you can talk with everyone here.

"I want to keeping improving my English [speaking skills] and play rugby league."

Cousin said he hoped to "give the best of myself" while at the Eagles.

"I'm pretty fast and I never give up," he said.

"It's a very good team and the guys here are nice. I hope we have a good season and win a title at the end."

Cousin thanked Draper and the Eagles club for their support.

"The Draper family is very good and treat me like their own son," he said.

"I am very grateful."

New East Campbelltown Eagles recruit, Raphael Cousin. Picture: Chris Lane

New East Campbelltown Eagles recruit, Raphael Cousin. Picture: Chris Lane