When Eloi Pelissier came to watch London Broncos vs Toulouse in July, in France, little did he know how far that particular ticket would take him. We caught up with the enigmatic Frenchman to find out more.
How are you finding playing in London?
I am really enjoying my time here In London. I came here firstly for the rugby and I want to say that I love the training, the facilities, the coaches and the players. They have all made me feel so welcome here and I feel that I have fitted in very well. The most important thing for me is to be happy on the field and I am getting closer to the other guys week by week.
And off the field in the capital?
There is so much to do here in London and I am enjoying that part of being here too. So many restaurants, parks, places to visit and so much history here too. It’s a great experience for me to live here in London. Many people in Catalans, where I am from, never leave there. There are whole families who just stay in France and never try to get away to other places. Even my family and friends have stayed in the region and never moved away.
Are any of your family coming to see you play here?
Actually some of my friends and my dad came over for the game today against Toulouse. My girlfriend has been over a few times now and she loves it here in London which obviously can be a bit expensive for me as she loves the shopping here. My little boy has been over with her too and its amazing to have them here with me for long periods. She has also said that if I were to stay here that she would move over with my son which would be fantastic.
Being from Catalans what does the Challenge Cup win mean?
It is incredible. The people in Catalans are a very proud people They do not look at it as just a region its more than that. It means so much to win the Cup and it’s a huge step forward for the whole of French Rugby League. It gives rugby league the chance to grow from the back of this and will bring a buzz to the entire country. It needs to be promoted on the back of this win and make the game great in my country.
We played against Toulouse. Many friends in their side you have played against?
Yes I have played with a few in the side, played against a few in their side but it is always good to face friends on the field for me. One of my best friends is at Toulouse. Andrew Bentley, who is out injured at the moment, played with me at Catalans Dragons and he and his brother helped me out whenever I needed something. The Bentley family are very close to my heart.
You said you lived in Manchester. How does that differ from London?
I enjoyed playing for Leigh Centurions but we were in a difficult position a bit like Widnes Vikings are now. So we played constantly with pressure especially in the Super 8s. There was pressure on the players, staff and the whole club in general. We were the SuperLeague team and playing Championship sides is dangerous as they have the desire to go up. I loved playing there and made some great friends too. The lifestyle between the two cities is very different and London seems to be a lot more expensive than the north. I played about 25 games at Leigh and that was great for me. Now I think London can do what no one expects them to do and that is to go up.
Can I say a big thankyou to everyone involved with Broncos for making me and my family feel so wanted here. Matt Davis has been a great friend already in the short time I have been here and I want to play the best I can and show the fans that London should be back in the top league.