By Simon Galinier
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Freshly landed from Grenoblewith the status of confirmed player of Pro D2, the center Adrien Seguret (24 years old) discovers the environment of Castresrecent Top 14 finalist. After having hardened his skills in Pro D2, the U20 world champion (2019) has the firm intention of proving that he is ready for evaluation in the Elite, which he has already known with Lyons, and intends to take over at the center of the Tarn attack. Interview with this Aveyronnais, born in Paris, but trained in Albi (Tarn).
News: How did you introduce yourself to your new club, Castres Olympique?
Adrien Seguret: Very well ! There is a group that is already in place and working well, so the integration is quite easy. My arrival in Castres also went well, because I’m from the region, so it’s always more obvious. Even though I was born in Paris, by pure chance, my family is from Aveyron. So, I grew up in Rodez and I was trained in Albi (Tarn), so the rurality of Castres does not disorient me (laughs).
Why did you choose to sign for Castres?
AS : What played was above all the fact of returning to the region and the interest that the CO showed in me. In addition to that, I already knew David Darricarrère, whom I knew with France U20 and in Mont-de-Marsan, so that also authorized me in my choice, even if I had no other obvious options. I have always kept a special relationship with him, because we had good memories together with the Bleuets and the Stade Montois. He was the one who brought me to the Landes and it was he who established the contact so that I signed in Castres. Then I met Pierre-Henry Broncan and the whole club, but David Darricarrère surely played an important role in helping to tip the scales, at the start. But I think it was a whole. For me, Castres is the right club at the right time.
The CO corresponds perfectly to the vision I have of a rugby team.
What image do you have of CO?
AS : Castres is a very family club. We immediately sent the club on the right track. Everything is well organized and everything is done so that the players are put in the best conditions, without making waves. It is a club available and close to its supporters. There are often people who come to attend our training sessions and we remain a very accessible club. This is the image that the CO sends back. It’s family friendly, but the players are still in the business. In Castres, it works hard and it does not make noise. Even if there are boys who could take themselves for others, given their career and their status, but it is not at all the style of the house and the state of mind of the crew . The first collective in the CO and no one is positioned above another. I’m very happy to find that here, because that’s the vision I have of a rugby team.
Do you already know any players in the Castres squad?
AS : I had already met Antoine Zeghdar who was U20 world champion in 2019, a year after me. I already knew Baptiste Delaporte, whom I had met in the Midi-Pyrénées selection, among young people, as well as Thomas Larregain, with whom I was at the Pôle Espoir Rugby de Jolimont, in Toulouse. And also Geoffrey Palis, whom I watched play in Albi as a supporter, from 2009 to 2013. It’s great to discover a new team and new teammates. It’s always rich. I had already known three clubs (Lyon, Mont-de-Marsan and Grenoble) and each time, it is enriching to meet new people.
You go from leader in Grenoble to rotation player in Castres. How do you experience this change in status?
AS : When you change club, it’s always a danger, but my ambition was to find the Top 14, after having known it with Lyon. This is the goal I had in mind since I signed in Pro D2, in Mont-de-Marsan then in Grenoble. I wanted to give myself the means to taste the elite of French rugby again and, thanks to the Pro D2, I was able to chain matches and gain a lot of experience. I had seasons where I had a leadership role, with importance on and off the pitch, and that helped me enormously. There is everything to prove by returning to a Top 14 club, but as a general rule, you always start from scratch when you sign for a new team. It’s tricky to manage, but I’ve also gained enough confidence over the past 3 years to achieve a slightly different status. But that does not mean that it will not have to be proven, quite the contrary. There are centers that are already well established and that are having great seasons in this squad. You have to prove all the time to try to play my card in the rotation. This will be done little by little, you must not want to skip the steps. What is certain is that I want to help the club by bringing my freshness and my desire to the center of the field and to continue to convey the values of the CO.
Do you think you will take on a major role in Castres in the years to come?
AS : Pierre-Henry Broncan and David Darricarrère have thought a lot about the succession plan, recruiting young players who have potential to take over from players who are not at the end of their careers. They have a good strategy and I took it into account in my thinking. In the years to come, there may be a place to take and a relief to ensure in the center of the Castres attack. There is the Fijian Vilimoni Botitu (24) who won and who is still very young, but Thomas Combezou is rather at the end of his career, so I think there will be a succession to take in the future. .
After the title of U20 champion in 2019, do you regret not having experienced the same trajectory as your ex-teammates at Les Bleuets (Ntamack, Carbonel, Vincent, Woki or Bamba) who have been shining for several seasons in the Top 14 and with the Blues?
AS : I don’t think it should be seen that way. I don’t tell myself that I missed the car. Take the steps as they come. Everyone has their path and career, but I’m not lacking in ambition and I continue to look ahead. I’m very happy for my friends who are doing great things with the great French team, but you should never get it out of your head. Deep down in me, it’s always a dream to wear the Blue jersey. But if I had to do it again, I would do the same. Do not have regrets and look back. I just turned 24, I’m still young and I want to keep moving forward with ambition. The Top 14 is a very tough championship, it’s another step, but I don’t regret my move to Pro D2 in any way. It brought me a lot and now I know that I am ready to perform in the elite of French rugby. I don’t know if I’m going to play every weekend, but at least I feel ready. Besides, I advise all young people to sneak into Pro D2 rather than chomping at the bit in the Top 14. The Pro D2 championship is great for getting tough with teams that often trust young people. You should not deprive yourself of this, because it is a very formative and enriching experience. It is not because we evolve at the lower level that we cannot highlight ourselves, quite the contrary…
For now, the XV of France is more a dream than a real goal, but if it has to happen…
Precisely, Fabien Galthié appreciates these profiles of atypical players who have made their ranges in Pro D2 and have not experienced linear courses. Do you still think of the Blues?
AS : For now, it’s more of a dream than a real goal. I’ve always said that you shouldn’t skip the stages. I passed the Pro D2 test, now there is that of the Top 14. Before being called up by the XV of France, you must first play and above all perform. I don’t project myself too much and I take the steps one after the other and if it has to happen, it will happen. I don’t want to think about it more than that so as not to put additional pressure on myself. I don’t work like that.
How did you experience the last final stages of the CO, in a position of future player?
AS : It was a little weird… But most of the matches, I was still a supporter and fully behind them, because it’s always gratifying to arrive in a team that had a great run the previous year. Even if there is always the trick of thinking that it will not be easy to join a finalist team with players who have had a great season, this is not my case. If they had been able to win in the final against Montpellier, it would have been great and even more rewarding for me. I also saw all the popular fervor that there can be around CO and I felt it during the first training sessions. Supporters came to see me and I saw that they already knew my background and had followed me, when I had never seen them. We feel that there are more passionate people than in other places.
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