Halifax RLFC’s close-season capture Kevin Larroyer arrived at the Shay after a highly-successful career which includes 14 full international caps for France.
In this interview with Duncan Mitchell, which will appear in the Halifax v Batley programme published in the centre of Friday’s ‘Halifax Courier’, the experienced second rower gives his views on Halifax, switching from full time to part time and cookery.
How did you come to sign for Halifax?
“It was unexpected, because I was in the middle of a contract with Leigh.
“Then they had their financial problems, and my agent told me that Halifax were interested.
“I’d played against them many times over the years, and had always respected them as probably the best part-time side out there.
“In the game they’re perceived as a tightly-knit group who like to defend, which suits me.
“ I’d also heard good things about Richard Marshall as a coach.
“I was nervous about getting to know a new group, but I’ve been made welcome by everyone, and I’ve found it much easier to fit in here than at my previous clubs.”
What was it like coming up against Leigh so soon after leaving?
“We expected a tough game, and we got one.
“They’ve got a lot of local lads who are playing for the badge, so they were dangerous.
“We didn’t get the best start at Widnes, so it was important for us to win that game.”
What are the differences between between being full time and part time?
“That’s something I was a bit worried about before I came here; it’s 10 years since I was a part time player so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“I’ve been really impressed though. Because we have less time than the full timers, its very intense, and all the players respect that and give 100 per cent at every session.
“Because of that I think we’re very well prepared.”
Can Fax finish in the top five?
“Definitely. It will be a long season, and the Championship is going to be very competitive.
“York and Bradford, the two promoted sides, look to have what it takes to challenge and there are plenty of other good sides.
“We can’t afford to start too badly; at Leigh last year we lost a few at the beginning of the season, and ended up missing out on the top four by a point.
“We’re looking to win our games at the Shay, and then take points off our rivals away from home.”
You’re doing some work selling sponsorship for the club as well.
“Yes. I’m studying Sports Business Management so it’s been very useful for me.
“I’ve certainly got more confident in my phone skills, and hopefully I’m helping the club too.
“I did once cause a few laughs in the office though, when I was trying to sell match sponsorship to someone who turned out to be a club director!”
Your team mate Harry Kidd has been learning French over the winter. How’s he doing?
“I’ve actually been quite impressed; he’s been learning it in the car on the way to training.
“His French is fairly basic, but I’ve said that he can come to me for advanced lessons.
“Normally I’d charge but as he’s a team mate I’ll do it for free.”
Tell us a secret.
“ I’m a really keen chef, and I do all the cooking at home.
“I don’t really have a signature dish, but I’ve got lots of cookery books, and I love getting them out and trying something new.”