By Gauthier Baudin
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The former winger or full-back Armand Batlle lent himself to the game by delivering the 5 best players he faced or met on a field. Through Castres, Grenoble, Colomiers and Perpignan, the native of the Pyrénées-Orientales, remembers very well the “monsters” that he had to tackle on the ground. He delivers his list to Rugby News.
Gio Aplon: “It was easy”
“He’s one of the best fullbacks I’ve played with. The South African with 17 selections with the Springboks left a memorable memory in France, during his time at Grenoble between 2014 and 2017. The former player of Stormers played 62 games with the FCG for 16 tries scored and memorable ball comebacks.
“At that time, he was 34 or 35 and he was still on top. Gio was scoring tries from the other side of the world. He was easy because when you gave him the ball he always created something. Cheslin Kolbe is a bit like his spiritual son, moreover,” explains Armand Batlle.
Sitiveni Sivivatu: “he’s going out of his way all the time”
the old All Blacks a remarkable passage in France. scoring playerASM between 2011 and 2014 (69 appearances), he then continued a little further south of France, to Castrated, pendant 2 years (29 y.). In all, he will have scored 29 tries in the jersey of the two clubs. “What’s funny about him is that he always freaks out. He was never on his wing, “recalls the player trained inUsap.
“But next to it, it was very complicated to defend in 1 against 1 against him. Physically, he was impressive, ”adds the physio in training. True legend en New Zealand, he scored 29 tries in 46 caps, a ratio of 1.6 tries per game.
Sireli Bobo: “He’s a very physical player”
“It’s the style of player that was complicated to defend because he could easily hit over, outflank you or crash into you” sums up Armand Battle. And how to contradict it? Siréli Bobo left its mark on its time, whether at Biarritz (2005-2007), with whom he raises the Brennus Shield Fr 2006, or at Metro Race 92 (2007-2013), where he was part of the team that won the Pro D2 in 2009 and put the Ile-de-France club in Top 14.
also passed by Toulon, La Rochelle, Pau or even the RC Strasbourg, Bobo “was a very physical player. When you defend against him, you have to be connected with his center, ”smiles the 2018 French champion with Castres.
Joe Rokocoko: “An impregnable winger”
“He is part of this style of impregnable and very impressive wings on a pitch”, details the former player. Before landing in France, Rokokoko to martyrize the lands of Super Rugby with the Auckland Blues, he is an international All Blacks recognized, the winger also has 68 caps for 46 tries scored.
In 2011, he landed in France, more precisely in the Basque Country, where he got involved with theRowing Bayonne 4 season pendant. He then joined the Race 92, with whom he becomes champion of France. During the final 2016, he is one of the heroes of the game for scoring this try.
Nemani Nadolo: “It’s rare to come across a 135-bar winger”
the Fijian to 30 caps played for Montpellier between 2016 and 2020, but also to crusaders and to Leicester, where it currently operates. The 1m96 winger has 53 tries in 69 appearances in the jersey of HRM.
“The year we were champion in 2018, he walked on everyone. It’s rare to come across a 135 bar winger. It’s also very hard to stop,” comments Armand Battle. When the CO reached the final in 2018, the Castres face a Montpellier highly preferred by a Nemani Nadolo in crushing form. Unfortunately, the fate of the final had turned in favor of the Tarnais.
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