By Thomas Larroquette
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As a true shadow warrior, Antoine Coletta (33) has always fought for his clubs. Through Brive, Dax, Soyaux-Angouleme and now Colomiersthe boy trained in Montignac (Dordogne) returns for Rugby News on his beginnings in Corrèze, his years in Dacquoise, and his best moments spent in Soyaux-Angoulême and Colomiers.
Colomiers, precisely. Arrived in 2020 in Haute-Garonne, the powerful second or third line spins the perfect love there. At 33, Anthony Coletta is coming to the end of his contract and dreams of only one has chosen: finish his career in the club of La Colombe. “I am very fulfilled there. With the staff, the players or the president, everything is fine. I am very happy to be here. I’m at the end of my contract, but I would like to continue… I hope it will be my last club because I’ll finish my time there”.
“I am extremely grateful to have turned professional in Dax”
In the Cadets category at Montignac, Anthony Coletta joins Brive, up to Espoirs. “’I did six or seven seasons until Espoirs. I am trained with the professional group formerly trained by Ugo Mola and Christophe Laussucq. They talk to me about playing the European challenge. But there was a lot of competition and I thought I had the level below so I said to myself that if I wanted to integrate the professional world, I should perhaps go to a Pro D2 club”.
After a freelance in Gdansk in Poland, where he notably took part in a final, the opportunity to join Dax in Pro D2 to arrive. The native of Paris spent two years at the training center of the spa town club alongside, in particular, Yoann Laousse-Azpiazu (Montois Stadium), Maxime Mathy (Montauban) and his lifelong friend still in Dax, Julien Dechavanne. His debut in the first team during the 2010-2011 season did not take long, even if the up and down seasons of the Red and White club were not easy to live with: “I had a little trouble finding my place. Circumstances mean that it was already necessary to assume responsibilities while being young. We played maintenance seasons with regular changes of coaches and presidents. I know that my level there was average…”, regrets Coletta.
Well supervised by the regional of the stage, Jerome Daret, now selected for the France team at 7, Anthony Coletta does not forget anything and wants to be grateful to the Landes club “for having turned professional there”. “Without the club’s confidence in the contracts they gave me, I wouldn’t be here today”.
His visit to Soyaux-Angoulême: “one of the best choices of my life”
His seven seasons dacquoises, Anthony Coletta does not regret them. However, in 2017 the Landes adventure ends. Soyaux-Angouleme and Julien Lairle position themselves then, and a new challenge presents itself. “I didn’t know a lot of players. Julien Laïrle did a great job. He found players who were a bit on the decline and brought them back to life. I knew it was a good choice, certainly one of the best choices of my life. I found my best level and I found my place in the team. I managed to reveal myself even if it was a bit late”.
In three seasons, the solid warrior will play around sixty matches, and will become an indisputable element of the Violets pack, to the point of quickly becoming captain. He remembers in particular his first tenure with the SAXV, during the second day of Pro D2 (2017-2018). A first match punctuated by a victory for Beziers (24-34). “This family club”, as he likes to call it, will become a family for him. The latter will forge very strong ties with Aldric Lescure (third line), with whom he still plays at Colomiers.
“Not to continue my studies? The biggest regret of my life”
The life of a professional rugby player does not guarantee a certain future. If Anthony Coletta notices and underlines the mentality of young players who are more and more concerned about studies in parallel with rugby, he confides in his personal case: “If I could, I wouldn’t change much, apart from the pursuit of my studies. This is the biggest regret of my life. I’m nearing the end, but I still have some ideas.
During his last season at Soyaux-Angoulême, the former Brive member had a multi-activity contract, working in a renovation box as a business manager. Well trained by Sylvain Fabrègue, a conciliatory and “incredible” boss, Coletta was able to discover the world of work: “I tasted real life, even if rugby is already that contrary to what some may think. Even starting from scratch, I saw that we could get there in working life. I will surely go into the world of construction, but more in the field than in the office (Laughter)”.
“I do not accept that another player does not play just because I am captain”
On the ground, Anthony Coletta is not one to slip away. Often at the forefront of the fight, very available and powerful, his performances have raised him to the rank of captain, both on the side of SAXV and Colomiers. A role he takes to heart, but of which he is aware of his responsibilities: “You must constantly set an example. You should never falter. But it fits my character. You have to be irreproachable because everyone is counting on you. Sometimes you have to decide between the staff and the players. I have a somewhat participatory captaincy, I like that there are several leaders on the pitch. I won’t be there forever so some young people have to stand out. I am thinking in particular of Waël Ponpon, who will be a great captain later on. Jean Thomas who has always been here also deserves it”.
“I do not accept that another player does not play because I am captain. It’s the best who must play, ”adds the third line. “Physically and at 33, I feel good. When I compare the GPS statistics to training, I’m in the nails compared to the young people, ”says the big guy. Anthony Coletta is now dreaming of a semi-final at home and hopes with all his heart to finish his career as it should in Colomiers.
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