RUGBY. 6 Nations. According to Jacques du Plessis, “France is lucky to have Paul Willemse”


Can you speak french please? Symbolic of his return to South Africa, Jacques du Plessis prefers to express himself in his native language rather than Antoine Dupont’s. But the second line does not reject any questions for about fifteen minutes. He just picked up his son from school. His family is exactly the reason to return home. ” Covid-19 has played a lot! I didn’t see my family for a long time. You are alone in France and there are not always many people supporting you. Except for your wife and son “, reveals. If she’s happy today, it wasn’t easy to make the choice to go home: “ I am very happy to be back in South Africa. I stayed in Montpellier in France for a long time. I love the club, the city. It was a great experience for me to play in the Top 14, which is a very tough championship. I spent six years there and missed my country, my family. Going back was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. »

The 28-year-old has returned to training club Blue Bulls. He won the Currie Cup with the Pretoria club against the Sharks on 11 September (44-10). He quickly found his way. Although something has changed since he left in 2015. ” The biggest difference is when I left the Bulls I was the youngest and now I am one of the oldest. Laughs. But there is always a culture of working hard. »

The first 14 is not 100 meters, it’s a marathon »

At the age of 22, Jacques du Plessis chose to sign a Montpellier run by his compatriot Jake White. A period when the club was fond of strong players and above all South Africans. ” It was a little weird at first because I guess I was a little young. He accepts. It is not common to sign abroad at such a young age. The person I am today, the things I’ve learned from life, everything I’ve seen, this new culture and these new experiences I came to France to play for Montpellier, I wouldn’t change for the world. I was especially happy in Montpellier. To be honest, coming to France was the right choice back then, especially to play in a tough competition like the starting 14. »

He also faced another rugby in France if he had to adapt to a new life. “ I think rugby in France is different. You have a very strict game plan in South Africa. In France it is a little more open and you can no longer express your qualifications. So I think the skills are more developed in France, like pass after contact. It allows us to try not to stick to the same game plan all the time. You bring where you are good to the team. You are trying to do this for the collective in France. I think rugby is very different from where you are. If you have to play in France, you should know that it is a very long season. The first 14 is not 100 meters, it’s a marathon “It expands the native of Pongola, a village in the east of the country, close to the Swaziland border.

He also had to adapt to a new championship. At that time, South African dealers took part in Super Rugby against the Australians and New Zealanders. “ Super Rugby is faster though in France. I think I learned a lot from the hiccups, touches and kicks in the starting 14. »

There are too many foreign players in MHR

In six seasons with the navy blue jersey, Jacques du Plessis (27) won two Challenge Cups (2016 and 2021). But he does not have the title of champion of France, but Mohed Altrad is one of the goals of his club for several years. The player, who played in 105 matches in blue and white, was a member of the Hérault club. So what did MHR miss to raise the shield? ” that’s a good questionhe answers. I think MHR had good seasons in the last six, seven years with finals, semi-finals, playoffs, but they lost. We were very good in the Challenge Cup. It’s a sign that we’re consistent. A winning culture comes with time, especially if you keep the same group of players for several years and consistency comes. »Champions Cup - Jacques Du Plessis plays against Gloucester at Vahaamahina [Vidéo]Champions Cup – Jacques Du Plessis plays against Gloucester at Vahaamahina [Vidéo]He points to the club’s strategy: ” Every year you have a new team, new players, a new philosophy. For me, it’s a sign that Montpellier has struggled through my term. We can’t stand still with a few rugby cultures. I think sticking to the same players and the same philosophy keeps you consistent. »

Regularity is a word that can characterize the year 2022 for Montpellier, who were undefeated for ten consecutive league games from October 23 to March 5. He has already experienced the team’s recovery after Philippe Saint-André’s arrival during the season last year. For the person nicknamed “Thor” for his long blonde hair and overdeveloped muscles, MHR’s resurgence in fitness isn’t just due to PSA. He goes back to what he said earlier. ” Even if Philippe Saint-André had a big influence, I think the whole recruitment system, the whole system, has changed.he continues. When I came to Montpellier, we were too many foreigners and not many French on the team. Now there are better French players and less foreigners. That’s why Montpellier progressed for me. »

“France is lucky to have Paul Willemse”

In Montpellier, Jacques du Plessis teamed up with Paul Willemse on the second line solid. South Africans met in Bulls before meeting in Occitania. If two players are close in the cage, they are close in life. Therefore, he now watches the matches of the French team with a special eye, where his assistant has become a key player. “ I am so happy for Paul, he is one of my best friends! He has always been a very good player. He was never called to play with the Springboks in South Africa, so he made the best decision of his life by coming to Montpellier. Look, he’s playing for France now! He’s a great person and a great actor. France is lucky to have a solid player like him she says excitedly.Rugby.  6 Nations.  Willemse, Danty, they impressed the press, they imposed themselves on the standard teamRugby. 6 Nations. Willemse, Danty, they impressed the press, they imposed themselves on the typical teamJacques du Plessis, XV of France, could have demanded it too. Fabien Galthié met with the actor at the end of 2019, right after he took office. He was unable to form a second-line Franco-South African team with Paul Willemse for administrative reasons rather than sporting ones. In 2013, the former Montpellier player played with the South Africans in the U20 World Cup. However, his country and France recognized it as the second under-20 national representative team. Here he cannot play in the colors blue, white and red. However, wait, he can still hope to claim the France team. If he applies for a French passport, he can qualify for France in rugby sevens as it is an Olympic discipline. He would later become eligible for France’s fifteen out of seven, but to do so would need to play an Olympic qualifying tournament, a sine qua non for being called up to fifteen.6 Nations.  France.  'Whole body marked': Paul Willems washed up after stratospheric match6 Nations. France. ‘Whole body marked’: Paul Willems washed up after stratospheric match It was difficult when I was in France because I couldn’t play for France. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is. » Unable to see it evolve with the tricolor, one can always claim to have discovered the international level with its country of origin. ” I dreamed of playing with the Springboks and still hope to be selected with the Springboks. “He’s slipping. But that’s not his priority anymore.” Many things have changed in my life, there are more important things to me than rugby. I have a wife, a son, a daughter. It’s not my number one priority anymore. I took advantage of those moments. I had Achilles tendon surgery for the second time. All I can think about right now is to go back and play my best rugby! »