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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Whitehaven's French recruit Seb Martins eyeing World Cup squad

New French recruit Seb Martins is hoping a big season for Whitehaven will lead to a World Cup call-up in the autumn – and the club plan to help him achieve his aim.

Seb Martins photo
Seb Martins and, right, with Paul Goodwin and Barry Richardson

The 26-year-old former international featured off the bench in Sunday’s Championship win over York, after impressing in the club’s final pre-season clash in Carcassonne the previous week.

“The first thing is to play well for Whitehaven, and then maybe I can play for France in the World Cup,” said the 112kg prop, who believes he is still a little rusty after a spell out of the sport.

“After six months playing rugby union my form wasn’t the same, but after two or three games, it will be good.”

Haven have offered to send footage of Martins in Championship action this term to the France coaching team, to help press his World Cup claims.

“Seb is a big powerful man with an excellent offload,” said chief executive Barry Richardson.

“He was disappointed with his performance against York, but we have seen enough video footage of him, and his performance against Carcassonne, to know he will be a very player for Whitehaven.

“Straight away in our training camp in Carcassonne he gelled with the rest of the players, and there was mutual respect. We are confident we’ll see a real good Seb Martins playing for Whitehaven, as the weeks progress.”

Martins, whose Super League stint with Catalans Dragons was curtailed by injury, played for Lezignan in the French top-flight last season, helping the team to a play-off semi-final berth.

He then accepted a lucrative offer to switch codes in France but found it difficult to adapt.

“I didn’t like rugby union – I played centre,” Martins added. “I got the ball only two or three times in a game. I spoke to the coach, but he was fine with it.”

Martin is flat-sharing with team-mates James Cameron and Jessie Joe Parker, and the front-rower’s fiancee Amelie has joined him.

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