Maxime Machenaud has yet to tame the promoted group, and for good reason. He had been living on the sidelines since summer prep and a tear in his right calf. “It was doubly frustrating,” he breathes. There was the injury, and coming to a new club but being sidelined. Relationships, you create them on the field, in training… Me, I was closer to the physical preparation and the physiotherapists, that’s unfortunate. Finally, unhappy… I screwed up a lot with them. The burst of laughter reflects relief. The use of the past tense emphasizes the end of this parenthesis and the true beginning of the adventure. The Bordeaux will replace Guillaume Rouet in the Rem group this Saturday.
“I poke him for the way he dresses and for the many photos of his body published on Instagram. There’s probably a bit of jealousy on my part.”
It’s a “tiny wink” to a “big story.” The one that connects Maxime Machenaud with the UBB, his training club. He played his last match for Racing against Bordeaux. He will play first with Bayonne against Bordeaux. “There are always little things that connect me to this club except me. »
Ten years in Racing and, suddenly, a desire for change. No “routine”, no “tiredness”, simply the feeling of “the end of something”. Nolann Le Garrec took a little more importance in his position, “which is completely logical”. Machenaud felt the need to “get out of his comfort zone”. “If it wasn’t very clear and obvious in my head, it’s because I had to change. »
The choice was made quickly, last fall, in consultation with his wife Sophie, and their three children, Gaspard (age 8), Augustin (soon to be 6) and Sacha (age 2). Direction Bidart for family life, and Jean-Dauger for three seasons. So in Lyon, Pierre Mignoni tried it. Philippe Tayeb had the last word. The player, however, was not sure of competing in the Top 14. “I felt that it was this challenge that I needed, this region, this illusion, says number 9, also surpassed by Agen (2010 -2012). I have never met a club with such enthusiasm. In ten years at Racing, I have experienced enormous things, with supporters who were there but not as numerous as here. This is not a rugby region. I wanted to find this. It was the first criterion with the athlete. Afterwards, we were told that the good of this region, and I can confirm it. »
The one that proves the thesis of the end of the career golden in the sun, for some gossip. It’s not true, it always rains in the Basque Country. Above all, the French international does not see things from this angle. “I don’t necessarily have to prove it to anyone but myself. I’m always looking to improve. I’ll retire when I stop playing rugby. These are all day-to-day attitudes, in training, investment, that show you still want to be efficient . It’s going to happen in the game, too. Most people see it.”
His trainers have already detected the workaholic. “Max is a presence, an example,” says Gerard Fraser, the coach of the three quarters. He is very serious, demanding with himself, and certainly with the others in the field. “Answer this Saturday. Coach Grégory Patat can’t wait. “Max has experience dealing with late games. He is one of the top scorers in the Top 14. He defends the man strongly. He is a complete player and wants to perform with Aviron. He, like Camille (López), experienced the very high level, the French national team. They will bring us experience. “66 years and 66 selections to them of them. If the age is distributed fairly, Machenaud takes advantage in number of layers (38).
“If it wasn’t very clear and obvious in my head, it’s because I had to change”