In less than a year, the second or third line has gone from unknown to international potential. A dazzling progression for this player with an atypical course who remained under the radar for a long time.
His summons to the Blues was expected, it is now effective. Since an intervention by Fabien Galthié at the Canal Rugby Club at the beginning of September, Thibaud Flament has been followed by the coach. Monday, when the former scrum half from Marcoussis gave the name of the 42 players called to prepare for the autumn tests, the second row from Toulouse (24 years old; 2.03 m; 110 kg) therefore went from contender to elected . The reward for a dazzling progression for someone who is only playing his third season with the professionals after having experienced an atypical career, both in terms of destinations (Belgium, Argentina) and position (he started at… the opening).
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On Saturday, before getting into his bubble and getting ready for the warm-up, he will undoubtedly not fail to greet Pierre-Henry Broncan when he arrives on the lawn after having split the crowd who will attend the players. at the exit of the bus, in a moment always favorable to the discussions. Because without the head coach of Castres, maybe none of this would have happened. We indeed know the appetite of Gers for unearthing nuggets. Passed under most radars, Flament obviously did not escape his when he was recruited by the Wasps in 2019 after a year at Loughborough University.
Having joined the Bath staff in the summer of 2018 to add a foreign touch to his many coaching experiences and offer his two sons the opportunity to become bilingual, Broncan will serve as a whistleblower. With Stade Toulousain of course, where he served as defense coach from 2015 to 2018 but also with the staff of the Blues. “Pierre-Henry Broncan had pointed it out to us and since then we have been following him”, confirmed Monday Galthié, who since last season has had plenty of time to see the versatile forward evolve, since he is also capable of officiating in third line.
Author of a historic doubled in his first season in France – he was a substitute in the two finals won against La Rochelle – he had half-heartedly mentioned the goal that was his to knock on the door of the XV of France during an interview he gave us in September: “I’m setting them (his personal goals, editor’s note) at the moment. Continue to scratch playing time, chain matches. This is the number one priority. Afterwards, it’s not a bit cliché but everything else is a product of that, therefore, first me on that and then we’ll see what comes behind. “
Last Thursday, when his name came back with a lot of insistence, he did not hide his state of mind, without being too outspoken: “I think everyone is thinking about it. Then we’ll see what comes out. Any player has a bit of that in the back of his mind. “
Two weeks to prove yourself
Asked about the presence of Flament as well as of Montpellier and ex-Toulouse Florian Verhaeghe, the coach reasons his choice: “They are really new, we have never seen them in the weeks of preparation. First, they perform in club and they have a profile that interests us, especially in touch. We want to see them with us, train with us, see how they respond to our way of preparing. This is a first step for them: to respond present in this context of formatting to face Argentina. Then we’ll see. He quickly adapted to the Toulouse environment, he is there. He is a developing player, who seems to have potential. We’re pretty confident in our formatting method to see if it can fit with us. The two weeks of preparation will tell us. “
If we are to believe Jean Bouilhou, his coach in Toulouse, who praises “his ability to listen and transcribe quite impressive” of a player who “has no time to lose”, Galthié and his staff should not not be disappointed.