Like the entire Boniface stadium, Friday September 16 against Oyonnax (26-15), Stade Montois coach Stéphane Prosper could see that Lucas Mensa (26) was back. The spectators did not have time to regret the exit at the break of Wame Naituvi (hamstring tear) that they were able to appreciate the sensational entry of another of their nuggets. Four minutes after his appearance on the lawn, the center three-quarter (1.83 m, 94 kg), for his third ball, slalomed into the best defense in the championship (at that time), eliminated six defenders and broke through. the center line into the 22 opposing yards.
“I was disappointed, it’s normal, because it’s complicated to train all week and not play at the weekend”
“I really wanted to play and help the team confirm its good start to the season”, explains the player who landed in the Landes in 2021.
“A very nice experience”
It must be said that the Argentinian international had not stepped on a lawn for… more than three months and the defeat in the accession match against Perpignan (16-41). Left with the Pumas at the beginning of the summer, Lucas Mensa is part of the group currently contesting the Rugby Championship, without playing a single minute.
“It was a great experience because of a victory against Australia (48-17) and the Blacks (18-25). A victory in New Zealand for the first time in our history was exceptional (last year’s success took place in Australia, editor’s note). I was 24th and therefore in the stands. I know that you have to keep working for it to pay off, because there is a lot of competition, but I was also disappointed. It’s normal, because it’s complicated to train all week and not play at the weekend. But that’s sports. »
New absentees from the group against Australia for the last match of the tournament, this Saturday, September 24, the Mons center has therefore decided, together with the Argentinian staff, to return to the Landes. “Training was very hard so I was in good shape, but I needed to play to get back into the game. »
Lucas Mensa is therefore contesting his first training sessions of the season with Stade Montois just before joining the group against Oyonnax. Pillar of the yellow and black in 20121-2022 (23 games, 20 tenures, 9 tries), the Argentinian will continue this Friday, September 23 in Montauban (7:30 p.m.) with his first tenure this season. And he knows that he is expected, while Jules Even has particularly distinguished himself over the first four days in this position as first center. “I’m happy for him because he’s a guy who works well and who is always positive, explains Lucas Mensa. But I want to start in all the matches, I’m a competitor (laughs). It’s good to have competition, it raises the level of training and it forces us to always be at a good level. »
Leader by its services
“Lucas is a talented player, an international who should bring us added value,” explains manager Patrick Milhet. He is humble and he is a hard worker, a rough player, who likes duels and plays in defense. He is a player who always wants to win, who brings that “grinta”, who does not give up and who brings serenity to the middle of the field. »
“He is rather reserved and should further improve his communication in the game with the players around him, continues Stéphane Prosper. There are also players around him to communicate, organize the game, Lucas takes the lead by what he does on the pitch and by his performances. »
Not so that Stade Montois is looking to extend the player, who will be at the end of his contract in the summer of 2023. He does not forbid himself anything, even if his “objective is to play in the Top 14 soon”. With the 2023 World Cup in France “so in the back of (his) head”, he who had already participated in the World Cup in Japan in 2019.