France’s Elite League Kicks Off 2016

[tps_title]Fédération Française de Football Américain[/tps_title]

The French Elite league kicks off its 2016 season this weekend with the Saint-Ouen Cougars set to defend the title after an outstanding run in 2015.

The Cougars did not drop a game all season winning the French championship after an opening game tie and are looking to dominate again in 2016. However, they will face stiff competition.

The six top teams from 2015 return and are joined by the top team of division 2, La Queue-en-Brie Gladiateurs. Two teams left the division, the Nîmes Centurions and the Molosses d’Asnières-sur-Seine.

The Pessac Kangourous were scheduled to play but pulled out in January due to budgetary issues.

Here then is a look at the seven teams competing for the French Diamond Helmet championship.

Aix-en-Provence Argonautes

France - Argonautes helmet logoThe Argonautes enter the 2016 campaign  seeking a championship title they have not won since 2002.

And their first signing showed they were serious as they brought in Anthony Dable, arguably the best receiver/returner in Europe. However, Dable is currently preparing for an NFL tryout in the United States and will not be available anytime soon.

Nevertheless, new head coach Jesse Thompson has a great stable of players including former LSU star quarterback Ryan Perilloux, who has seen preseason action with the New York Giants.

Perilloux will have plenty of targets to throw to including national team receiver Guillaume Rioux who has enjoyed a superb career in Germany with the Dresden Monarchs.

Changes in Argonautes for 2016

Arrivals: Anthony DABLE (FR, WR, New Yorker Braunschweig Lions, Germany), Johan DEBRABANT (FR, DB, Hurricanes Montpellier, D2), Robert Haynes (Import, USA, RB, Eastern Illinois), Jason LENGUDIANA (FR, RB Iron Mask Cannes D2), Sandy MARCIN (FR, WR, Centurions Nîmes D2), Michael MAYINDOU (FR, RB, La Courneuve Flash), Willy N’KISHI (FR, DL, Bear Toulouse D2), Ryan Perilloux (Import, QB, New Orelans VooDoo, USA), Sébastien Sejean (FR, DB, Monarchs Dresden, Germany), Guillaume Rioux (WR, Monarchs Dresden Germany), Jesse Thompson (USA head coach)

Departures: Adrian LYNDA (FR, WR / DB / KR, Hurricanes Montpellier D2), Paul Vincent MIRAVAL (head coach and technical director), Jimmie Russell (Import, QB, Eagles Troyes D2), Robin SEBEILLE (FR, TE, Cougars Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône)

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