Like the entire Boniface stadium, on Friday September 16 against Oyonnax (26-15), Stade Montois coach Stéphane Prosper could see that Lucas Mensa (26) was returning. Spectators did not have time to regret the departure at half-time of Wame Naituvi (hamstring tear) who were able to appreciate the sensational entrance of another of his nuggets. Four minutes after taking to the pitch, the three-quarter center (1.83m, 94kg), for his third ball, slalomed the best defense in the championship (at that time), eliminated six defenders and broke the central line at the opposite 22 yards.
“I was disappointed, it’s normal, because it’s difficult to train hard all week and not play at the weekend”
“I really wanted to play and help the team confirm their good start to the season,” explains the player who landed in the Landes in 2021.
“A very pleasant experience”
It must be said that the Argentinian international hadn’t set foot on the pitch for more than three months and the defeat in the access match to Perpignan (16-41). Having joined the Pumas at the beginning of the summer, Lucas Mensa was part of the group currently playing in the Rugby Championship, without playing a single minute.
“It was a great experience because we won against Australia (48-17) and the Blacks (18-25). A win in New Zealand for the first time in our history was exceptional (last year’s success took place in Australia, ed). I was 24th and therefore on the podium. I know you have to keep working for it to pay off, because there is a lot of competition, but I was also disappointed. It’s normal, because it’s difficult to train hard all week and not play at the weekend. But this is sport. »
Absent again from the group against Australia for the last match of the tournament, this Saturday 24 September the Mons central has decided, therefore, together with the Argentinian squad, to return to Les Landes. “The training was very hard, so I was in good shape, but I needed to play to get back into the game. »
Lucas Mensa therefore plays his first training session of the season with Stade Montois just before joining the group against Oyonnax. Pillar of the yellow and black in 20121-2022 (23 days, 20 terms, 9 tests), the Argentine will continue this Friday 23 September in Montauban (7.30 p.m.) with his first term of this season. And he knows that it is expected, while Jules Even has particularly distinguished himself during the first four days in this position of first center. “I am happy for him because he is a boy who works well and who is always positive, explains Lucas Mensa. But I want to start in every game, I’m a competitor (laughs). It’s good to have competition, it raises the level of training and forces us to always be at a good level. »
Leader for its services
“Lucas is a talented player, an international who should bring us added value,” explains coach Patrick Milhet. He is humble and a hard worker, a rough player, who likes duels and playing defense. He is a player who always wants to win, who brings that “grit”, who does not give up and who brings serenity to the midfield. »
“He is quite reserved and should further improve his in-game communication with the players around him,” continues Stéphane Prosper. There are also players around him to communicate, organize the game, Lucas takes the lead in terms of the pitch and his performances. »
Therefore, it is not surprising that Stade Montois are looking to extend the player, who will be at the end of his contract in the summer of 2023. Nothing is forbidden, even if his “aim is to play in the Top 14 soon.” . With the World Cup in France 2023 “necessarily in the back of the head”, he who had already participated in the World Cup in Japan in 2019.