France’s important player, Toulouse Céline Ferer, who started rugby at AS Bayonne, is sure to live a moment away on Saturday afternoon. In front of friends and family, she will try to take Les Bleues to the sixth Grand Slam tournament.
It would be an understatement to say that Celine Ferer will have a very special match on Saturday. Because if the second line was a joy at the Toulouse stadium for three seasons, then it was on the Basque Coast, and more specifically at Bayonne, that everything began in 2010. Young Celine was only 19 years old at the time. and by chance, on the advice of a friend, she decided to wear crampons. “I wanted to play sports. I barely knew the rules, but I tried”she said a few years ago. Until 2019, this made the happiness of Nescac (Basque girls, Ed) from Bayonne. Speaking of his former player, Gilles Peinoche, president of the Basque club, explains: “Celine is a double leader, both on the field and in group life.”
Second and third line versatility
On the meadow, since it is primarily about rugby, Ferer is a responsible player who fights at all costs, performs thankless tasks without complaining or getting tired. “It’s poison for the opposing team because they know how to do everything”notes Jean-Mathieu Alcalde, his former coach at ASB. “She is unanimous in her commitment to this area”praises Gilles Peinoche. “Celine sets an example in a fight or cancer. She never runs away”, completes the midfielder of the scrum “Stade Toulouse” Pauline Bourdon. Precious in contact, where her eighty feet allow her to score many goals, Ferer has established herself over the years as France’s XV big girl, with whom she has already won a Grand Slam (2018).
On Saturday, in pursuit of a second title with the national team, the 30-year-old should probably start in the third row, the tricolor line-up has the desire to have a fairly tight pack to face the English. If this remains the second direction of training, Ferer’s advantage is that he is versatile. “She can adapt quickly. It benefits the team. Regardless of her position, she always breaks down.”Jean-Mathieu Alcalde emphasizes. “In a group, this versatility is very important”adds Pauline Bourdon, who played with her in Bayonne before following her in Rouge et Noir. Where she took a new step.
An important part of the Basque side during the nine seasons spent at the Stade Pierre Cacaregt, Céline Ferer really gave her sports career a boost by joining Toulouse (2019) a few months after signing a part-time federal contract. “At the stadium, Celine gets more training opportunities, recalls Bourdon. This has inevitably allowed her to evolve, even if the person and player she is hasn’t changed.
Bourdon: “She manages to put together a team”
Off the field, “Grande”, as her teammates call her, is one of the people who make the difference in the life of the group. “I am always attached to the state of mind. When you have a person of this level and you are the president, you rely on him”Peinosh slips. “She can be very serious, but when she lets the horses go… She is able to set the mood for the team.”Alcalde laughs.
On match days, whoever will honor her 52nd pick on Saturday calms her down in the dressing room before thus reviving her if she wins. “She’s a player who talks a lotdescribes Bourdon. She brings us a lot of peace, we really want to follow her. She manages to lead the team. It’s great to have a player like that on and off the field in the third half.”
Saturday could be a memorable one in a grand slam event as the local scene resident would then direct her partners to the bars of Bayonne or the surrounding area. “Don’t worry about it, I think she’s got everything ready” Burdon laughs. But before that, the Blues must beat a team from England, which they have not won since March 10, 2018.