The international winger talks about the start of the season for ASM, now coached by Jono Gibbes. He waits for his team to “find its DNA”.
“Like every year, in Clermont, the objectives remain the same. This year, Jono (Gibbes, le manager) has arrived at Michelin, it will give the team a new boost. It’s up to us to do our best, to work. It is a perpetual questioning. We have to make sacrifices, we have to create a group capable of going as far as possible. ”
The arrival of Jono Gibbes
“It’s not a revolution. But inevitably things have changed. He came with a physical trainer (New Zealander Johnny Claxton, former Stade Rochelais, Editor’s note). The format of the days is different, as are the working methods. It’s up to us to adapt to this new way of doing things. After that, it is us, the players, who are on the pitch, so we are responsible for both victories and defeats. We must prepare as well as possible for the end-of-season cleaver matches. And we must first do what is necessary to come out in the top six. “
We must do our best to bring Clermont back to its DNA and its status
The departure of Franck Azéma
“Personally, it disturbed me at the end. Franck (Azéma), it was he who trusted me, who made me play my first matches and who brought me to this level. So yes it was complicated. But it is his decision, it must be respected. It was complicated for everyone, I think. But we moved on. We must do our utmost so that Clermont regains its DNA and its status. I returned to the club on Monday but I don’t think they dwelled on what happened last season. It’s a new season, we’re starting over. ”
Clermont in the bottom of the wave?
“We have a status to regain. We have to find the final stages and manage to play on both counts, Top 14 and European Cup, as ASM has done for the past ten years. Our group must unite to find beautiful things. This year, the group is stable, with few arrivals and few departures. It may take less time to find automatic mechanisms. There are a lot of young people from the training center who are there. This is good for ASM and for French training in general. We, the elders, must accompany them. Even though I don’t like to say I’m old … (To smile)»
Now that Clermont is in Ligue 1, I follow football. I think I will go to the stadium several times this year
An ASM-Clermont Foot rivalry?
“I think it’s a good thing that there is such sporting wealth in Clermont. There was already the pole with Renaud (Lavillenie), cycling with Romain (Bardet) and now it’s football that is also growing. It’s good to have this whole panel. I think it’s great for the city. That there are people in all the stadiums in Clermont is a very good thing. Now that Clermont is in Ligue 1, I follow football. I didn’t watch Ligue 2 too much. There, I watched the match against Metz (2-2). I think I will go to the stadium several times this year. Well, for Messi, I think there will be no places (laughs) … In truth, I find it good that these two flagship sports are present in Clermont. ”
The future France-All Blacks in November
“I don’t think about it yet. I’ll take things as they go. We will first focus on the start of the ASM season. Then we’ll see … Damian Penaud has not written on the list of the 30 or 40 players who will be on the tour. I see from day to day. It is useless to plan on a match which is in three months, it is the best way to mix the brushes. “