This Thursday, August 11, the MHR opened its stands to the public. The opportunity for supporters to find their players, champions of France, in full preparation for the back-to-school matches.
It is an expected recovery, for the players as well as for the supporters. The opportunity was too good to approach the champions, since three weeks before the resumption of the Top 14, the MHR opened its stands to the public this Thursday, August 11. And he was present: hundreds of people came to see them sweat. Some supporters are even surprised, “It’s quite physical for the start of the season. It’s tough.”
This muscular recovery, for the coach Philippe Saint-André, there was no choice. Training resumed late, only on August 1. “The preparation is short because we are the last team to attack again since we are the last team to finish”in reference in particular to the coronation of champions of France won on June 24th.
We work very very hard with long weeks. We train from Monday to Saturday noon to catch up. Last year, we had eight or nine weeks of preparation. This year only five, but we have a little more certainty about our game and our team.Philippe Saint-Andre
Montpellier Hérault Rugby Coach
This collective, Philippe Saint-André is keen on it. Because the MHR players have not only put on their crampons for the physical, the coach has met a point of honor on living together.
We must rediscover humility, self-sacrifice, the quality of our collective. Our new recruits must be well accepted and well within the group on the human side as well as on rugby.Philippe Saint-Andre
Coach at Montpellier Hérault Rugby
After a five-week break, “where they had plenty of time to water the shield withand Brennus”, the players were all happy to see each other again, explains Philippe de Saint-André. “They had the banana and they were happy.” Like the supporters, their eyes wide open in front of the passes and the accelerations of the players. Like this fan who came with his son: “es a former amateur rugby player, it’s a pleasure to see professionals training.”
We come to say thank you to the players. We vibrated, we vibrated for years with the whole family, and then the little one, he is happy. It’s a great time.
Supporter, MHR subscriber for 20 years
After training, it’s time for a reunion for the public. Balloons, photos or papers in hand, both children and parents approached their players for a few signatures and encouragement. See them for real “it’s weird” reveals one of them, who came with his mother. Some were even able to approach the Brennus shield in the club shop. A first for this father, “It’s a first, I wanted to touch this famous piece of wood.”
A pleasure shared with the players as for the Montpellier captain Yacouba Camara playing in the third row position. For him, “It’s always a pleasure to see supporters even if we missed them with the holidays. It’s always a pleasure after a title.”
It’s always a pleasure to find them. Now we have to move on, it’s a new year, we’re going to have to perform well and I hope the party will be just as good at the end of the year.Alexandre Becognee
Third line player
Title effect or not, the club gained 400 more subscribers than last year. Philippe Saint-André hopes to pass the 700 mark to have a full stadium all season.
The goal for this year remains the same as last year: to win a second title. For that, you have to win games. From the first day of the Top 14, the champions of France face the champions of Europe, La Rochelle, on September 3.
That’s the beauty of high level rugby, it’s that everything is called into question. If we want to keep the title for another year, we will have to work, [il faudra] a lot of self-sacrifice and above all be very good in the field.Philippe Saint-Andre
Coach at Montpellier Hérault Rugby
Philippe Saint-André’s players leave on Saturday for a one-week stage in Corsica with one objective in mind, to go as far as possible. Maybe even aim for the European Cup, fans secretly hope.