By Augustin Bouquet des Chaux
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“We started contact last week. I ran into two Argentinians… I don’t think I’ve ever hit a wall like that” smiles Noah Leclair.
While the Duke rugby will only return to training on August 15, 2022 at Dieppe (Seine Maritime)the young third line 21-year-old swapped the yellow and blue tunic for the red and white of the Beauvais Rugby Club.
From Federal 3 to Federal 1
Beyond a simple color change, it is also a whole new universe that Noé Leclair will discover.
While Dieppe has expanded into Fédérale 3, it has been a two-division tie as the Ile-de-France side contest the championship of Fédérale 1, this year’s equivalent of French rugby’s fifth division.
Five years of rugby only
At this level, the young player will also discover the requirements of semi-professionalism.
“We resumed training on July 19. We have two sessions on Tuesday and three sessions on Wednesday and Friday.
“Physically, it’s a really big pace. I’m way behind, especially in bodybuilding and physical strength. »
A delay that the young man will have time to fill. It must be said that the third line is a model of precocity.
Where the players who stand out at the federal level have generally launched rugby at a young age, Noé Leclair is contesting this year only his fifth year of rugby.
And it should only be the third complete since the health crisis has been cut off from a good part of their matches two of the last three exercises.
“I started in U19 in Dieppe”
“I had always wanted to play rugby and I started in U19 in Dieppe. It was also a way for me to reconnect with my father, who is a former rugby player,” emphasizes Noé Leclair.
Among the juniors, he is supported during his first season by Sylvain Yahiaoui and Jean-Baptiste Nicolle.
Beginnings that he has not forgotten: “Technically, I was very limited. Yahia and JB struggled a lot for the technical part. They taught me how to bend down to tackle or hit a percussion…”
But Noé Leclair is also physically out of the ordinary for his age group. Bigger, stronger but also fast for its size, the third line is wreaking havoc among the U19s.
“Having the most fun”
Aged just 19, he joined the ranks of the senior team where he caught the eye of the coaches who did not hesitate to start him during the match against Arras for the first day of the Federal 3 championship during of the 2020-2021 season.
If the latter will be arrested because of the health crisis, Noé Leclair stands out with recruiters.
If the second season will not be a success for the Duke (one victory, 15 losses), the young boy continues to trace his path and shapes his reputation.
By dint of martyring the opponents ball in hand, he seduced Beauvais: “My neighbor who lives in Neuville is a referee for Beauvais. He came to see me play in Dieppe and he talked about me there. »
“I was very well received”
The Ile-de-France club throws its evolution on the young Dieppois: “I wanted to try and not have any regrets. At best it works, at worst I will return to Dieppe having won a lot. I’m aiming to have as much fun as possible,” assures Noé Leclair.
If he is currently training with the first team of Beauvais, he should also play with the hopes before knowing his first match sheets as a senior.
“I was very well received by the former players. During my first practice, I was really not well and extremely stressed, but they took me under their wing and now I’m happy to go to practice. It’s going well,” he said.
The young man can also count on the support of Morgan Halley, also a former Duke player who joined the ranks of Beauvais, as well as on Loris Letellier, a former Rouen Normandy rugby hopeful who played under a double license with Dieppe: “C Surely it helps to not be all alone. »
Trained by a former professional
Joining a Federal 1 club also means being able to benefit from the expertise of former professional players. In Beauvais, it is the South African Enrico “Ricky” Januarie, a former international and Top 14 player, who coaches three-quarters.
“It’s weird. We shared a barbecue with him, there were his children… Then afterwards we got used to it. He trains the backs so I don’t have to deal with him too much, but as soon as he can correct a technical thing, he gives great advice,” says Noé Leclair.
The young third line will have the opportunity to get up to speed all summer.
Beauvais will play four friendly matches before the resumption of the Federal 1 championship on September 11 against the Paris university club.
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