Promising MHR scrum-half Léo Coly: ‘He’s the type of player who takes French rugby very high’

The youngster from Montois, a real eye-catcher for Pro D2 last season, has settled in Montpellier for three seasons. He will succeed the number 9 spot to Benoit Paillaugue who left for Toulon. Witnesses…

Here is the long awaited order form. It is fresh and 100% French. A few months after giving consent, Leo Coly he finally wears his new Montpellier colors.

A faint smile of pride was also seen on the faces of Philippe Saint-André and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde as the former Montois walked onto the Du-Manoir turf for the first time. About six months ago, when the MHR He was still in the shadow of the Top 14, great arms of the championship (Toulon, La Rochelle, Lyon) made eyes at the nugget born in Rennes.

Leo Coly, news received from the MHR: “I can’t wait to meet the whole scrum-half and gain experience”

– Midi Libre Sports (@MidiLibreSports) August 2, 2022

Little Leo is hot

But the Montpellier squad is smart. Out of his sleeve, he pulled some unstoppable arguments. “Look, here is Joan Caudullo, your former head of the Mont-de-Marsan training center”, “Hey, did you notice? Louis Carbonel and Arthur Vincent, your friends, 2019 U20 World Champions, will be there next year”, “You know, a lot of players who come from Pro D2 have blown up in Montpellier lately (Forletta, Becognée, Bouthier, Capelli)“… The words are not official but we can also guess them. Anyway, bank, little Leo is hot. Cocorico, the MHR once again seduces the small and young tricolors.

When digging into this guy with more than promising potential, something emerges. As a form of insurance, peace of mind. A feeling accentuated by the reflections of his former coaches.

Contacted at the beginning of July, former French U20 boss Sébastien Piqueronnies, now manager of the Paloise Section, and Joan Caudullo, head of the MHR’s training center (CDF), were both quietly on holiday on the other side of the planet. “For Leo, ok to give you a few minutes”, the two men answer. What places the youngster’s impact in the minds of his coaches.

From the ranks of our Espoirs team to the title of Under-20 World Champion?, passing through the Babaas selection!

The whole club is very proud of your career Leo and wishes you all the best for the rest of your career.

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– Montois Rugby Stadium (@SMR_Rugby) June 23, 2022

Friends first

“He exudes the joy of living. He is the type of player who takes French rugby very high in culture, education and visibility”, launches Piqueronnies, dithyrambic when he evokes his former protégé. A stuck atom, no doubt, created by the player’s rather insane route.

Joan Caudullo can rub his nose in it, he was the one who had the talent to integrate Coly into the Stade Montois training center in 2018. “When I became director of the center I did a pseudo-detection. I only had good feedback about this young man who was then playing for Biscarrosse in Crabos. However, he was not even a starter. We still did not know exactly what position he should play . 9? 10? 15? Anyway, something we liked”says the former prostitute of MHR (2004-2012).

“He preferred to play with his friends”

Contacts are made. The Landes club has expressed its interest. The only problem, Leo doesn’t necessarily aspire to become a professional. “He was going to Tarbes to do Staps and he preferred to play with his friends from Honor in Biscarrosse”recalls Caudullo, head of the Mont-de-Marsan CDF between 2017 and 2020.

But Stade Montois did not give up and convinced the player of his potential. The president of Biscarrosse cannot believe his eyes in front of such an interest. An agreement is reached, the transaction can be carried out. A year later, Léo Coly played his first professional game and became a world under-20 champion with France, starting in the semis and the final.

“Like what, when you show interest in someone, consideration, determination follows. For some players, even a blind person guesses their potential. For Leo, you had to scratch a little. In the end, it turned into a real potential and he is also a very good boy”emphasizes Caudullo.


In terms of gameplay and mood, the player should have no problem finding his place in the Hérault group. “Despite the age difference, I feel like I’m talking to a guy I’ve played with. He hasn’t taken the melon away. With him you can be effective. In the game, with his qualities as a strategist, coach and individual. technique, the MHR game is made for him”trust the exputa

Endowed with natural physical and technical abilities, Coly gives himself the means to optimize them. Witness this anecdote told by Joan Caudullo at the end of a friendly match against Biarritz last year. “At the end of the game it goes five meters from the line and the player goes forward. At the end of the game Leo says to me: ‘I missed the decisive pass’, while the pass was quite good. The players went to have a drink in Mont-de-Marsan. At midnight he went to the training center, put on the headlights of his car and made a hundred passes, reproducing the action from five meters from the line. He shows us the person who is..” A quality package.

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