The name of Paul Goze’s successor is finally known. It was a campaign full of suspense and twists and turns. The General Assembly of the National Rugby League (NRL), meeting this Tuesday March 23 in Paris, elected René Bouscatel President of the National Rugby League on the proposal of the Management Committee, with 89.6% of the votes of the Assembly General. He is the fourth president in the history of this association, after Serge Blanco (1998-2008), Pierre-Yves Revol (2008-2012) and Paul Goze (2012-2020). However, when he announced his candidacy on February 17, the game seemed to be over, and the presidency promised to Vincent Merling.
Vincent Merling’s Promised Presidency
Presented as the candidate of the Pro D2 clubs, Vincent Merling, who was 70 years old, nevertheless benefited from the support of the outgoing president, Paul Goze. Unlike his rival, presented in spite of himself as the candidate of the clubs against the French Rugby Federation (FFR), René Bouscatel focused his campaign on a warming of relations between the two bodies. He said in an interview: “Instead of starting from what separates us, I would rather start from what brings us together. I would like us to look for our common interests together and then find solutions that could work for both.”
A Successful Campaign for This New President
When he ran Stade Toulouse, the 74-year-old managed to run a perfect campaign, selling his project to his former fellow Top 14 presidents, where Vincent Merling failed. This return has something to surprise for the one who had been kindly pushed towards the exit in Toulouse, where he was a salaried president. He had tried last summer to take over another monument of French rugby, AS Béziers.
René Bouscatel: Towards New Missions for The Future of the NRL
Two years away from a World Cup in France, the Toulousain has inherited a delicate mission: to calm relations between the NRL, the Top 14 clubs and the FFR. Just elected, he has already announced his desire to maintain an elite at 14 clubs. “The Top14 is a balance that has been found over time. Our competitions are attractive.” said the long-time Top 12 defender.
NRL’s New President Wants to Be President of a United League
René Bouscatel who was elected for 4 years and is now at the head of professional French rugby clubs (Top 14 and pro D2, i.e. 30 clubs) declared following his election: “I would like to thank all the club presidents and the members of the General Assembly who have placed their trust in me for the next four years. It’s a great pride to chair the institution in charge of professional rugby and to succeed Paul Goze who worked for the development of rugby French professional, by making our championships and solidarity between clubs a model admired by the greatest rugby nations. I want to be the President of a united, strong and innovative League, committed to a partnership with the FFR, in particular around the great objective of the 2023 World Cup, capable of conquering new audiences and new territories, while promoting solidarity rugby, in connection with the amateur world and committed to social issues. »
While there is no doubt that the presidency of Mr. Bouscatel will be beneficial for the NRL, in the meantime, it’s still possible to bet on the next Rugby matches of the season. The oval ball has its specificities and the basis of a good tipster in this sport is anticipation by studying the calendars of the competitions you are going to bet on. NRL betting tips and predictions are already online, and the bookmakers have already started betting!