RHINOS SIGN FRENCH INTERNATIONAL

Leeds Rhinos have today announced that they have signed French international Eric Anselme, 29, on loan from French Elite Division One side RC Albi.

Leeds Rhinos have today announced that they have signed French international Eric Anselme, 29, on loan from French Elite Division One side RC Albi. The Frenchman who can play at either centre or back row arrived in Leeds on Monday and will be available to play for the World Champions in their next match against Bradford Bulls in the Millennium Magic Weekend. He will return to France for one week to captain Albi in the French Cup Final against Limoux in Carcassonne on May 25th, but will then be available to the Rhinos throughout the rest of the season Eric has previous Super League experience having played with Halifax Blue Sox during the 1997 season and actually made his debut aged 17 against the Rhinos at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. He has also played in the NRL with Penrith Panthers before returning to France to play for St Gaudens, where he won the French Championship in 2004. He began his career with Albi in 1991 and returned to the French Elite One club in 2007. Eric made his first international appearance for France in 2000 and has gone onto win 26 caps for his country. He was part of the French side who played Great Britain in the 2007 Frontline Test and was a try scorer for his side in their 42-14 defeat at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. He made two further try scoring appearances for his country last year in the 46-16 victory over Scotland and the 22-14 defeat against New Zealand, where he was named the Man of the Match for France. Commenting on signing for the Rhinos Anselme said, "I see this as a real challenge and opportunity in Super League. I am excited about playing for France in the World Cup and the experience at Leeds Rhinos will be very good for me and it will also be an inspiration to other Rugby League players in France. For my club Albi it is very important to have a friendship with Leeds Rhinos and everyone is very excited about this." Commenting on the signing Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, "Our Coach Brian McClennan has looked very closely at Eric on video and has been greatly impressed with him. He is a very versatile and experienced player who will add value to our squad particularly at a time when we are struggling with injury. We are also pleased to start an arrangement with Albi, which could result in the opportunity for some of their youngsters to spend time at Leeds Rhinos." Eric will become only the second French born player to play for Leeds, following on from scrum half Patrick Entat, who joined the Club in 1994 and made 20 appearances and scored two tries during the 1994-95 season.