Best Pro D2 Test Scorer, Rémy Baget (Bayonne winger) has just completed his first full season. A culmination for the 24-year-old, who a few seasons ago did not really think about becoming a professional.
An athlete sometimes needs a little help. With a twist of destiny, to launch or enhance your career. We are in 2011 and Rémy Baget is having a great time with his friends from the Rabastens cadets in his territorial championship, far, far away from the national teams, hopeful poles or federal sectors. The surrounding clubs are not particularly interested in him. But Sam Lacombe, coach of the Stade Toulouse de Rabastens association, decides to take him out of the village, to sign him at the Toulouse home. First push.
In 2018, when Yannick Bru had just taken over the reins of the rowing sports sector, he integrated Éric Artiguste into his squad, who then coached the red-black aspirants. While the Basque club is looking to strengthen its squad, Artiguste is slipping the names of Tristan Tedder, Maxime Marty, Fabien Nabias and Rémy Baget, whom he trained in Toulouse, into the former XV coach of France. Second impulse.
Without the help of these two men, today, Rémy Baget would make Gaillac happy in Federal 2. Far from the brilliance of the professional world.
He wanted to return to Gaillac after hopes
“I trained Rémy for three years with the hope, says Artguste. The first two were complicated. He was on the roster, but there were guys in front. At the time, I don’t think I was very motivated either. He had a tutoring with Gaillac, he was young, he was studying hospitality, it was a bit of a party. Suddenly he came to train, suddenly he didn’t come. But when he was there, he was willing, he liked it, he had skills. He was an atypical player, I liked him. He stood out with some weird and carefree races. At the beginning of the third year, he had said: Don’t count on yourself, don’t bother here and stay in Gaillac with your friends. » He replied: you can count on me. » But as I had also been told that the previous year, I didn’t believe it much … Finally, he came to train all the time, he started to chain and every Sunday he did a feat … ”
However, among young people, the Stade Toulouse does not offer him anything, and Baget, who has just finished his studies in the hotel industry, then plans to play Federal 2 again, with his friends from Gaillac. . ” I had spent my time with hopes, he remembers. Eric Artiguste told me not to sign anywhere, to trust him. I replied that, in any case, no club had contacted me. When I told him I was planning to go home with my friends, he said, ” especially not! » It was thanks to him that I arrived in Bayonne. »
Aviron did not want to keep him at the end of last season
The beginning of his adventure on the banks of the Nive is difficult. Baget makes good matches, shows interesting things, but plays little with the first team. Too few. 21 matches (18 starters) in three years. A dying figure, at an age when young players have to chain. As an extreme, Marty, Camara, Luc, Duhau or Ravouvou are preferred to him. ” There was competition he remembers. It was the coaches ’choice not to get into the Top 14. But I never stopped working. Joël Rey, Éric Artiguste and Arnaud Baratchart often came to see me and told me not to give up, that it was my turn tomorrow. »
To overcome a physical delay and show that he is hungry, Baget arrives first, in the early hours of the morning, in training, leaves last, and follows his efforts. ” The second and third years in Bayonne, every time he trained, he put many players in misery, says Artguste. It was not easy for him. He peeled it, we gave him nothing. Remy has a lot of temperament. He is strong psychologically, because for two or three years it was complicated. »
In addition, the club had decided not to keep Rabastinois late last season. ” I was looking for clubs, but no one wanted me on Pro D2, explains what rugby started at the age of 4, at the same time as her older sister Cindy. Really, I contacted them all! » But finally the oar had changed its mind at the last minute, after the good performances it had achieved against Toulouse, Montpellier and Paris at the end of the championship, and had offered him a new one-year contract. ” I really didn’t know what level I was at, as I played very little, he admits. I told myself that if I didn’t play the next season, I wouldn’t have to persist anymore and I had nothing to do with Pro D2. »
Artiguste: “Dressing room respect has been earned”
Revelation of the year, Baget did well to give it a try. After a great physical work done during the low season, he fit in from the first matches and consolidated, over the days, as a key element of the Basque club. With 31 games played (27 starters) and 2,223 minutes played, he was, by far, the most used player in the Bayonne squad. ” I’m happy because he’s someone I like. When I took him to Bayonne, I felt that this child had something. I had hope. Today, he’s gone from being a normal guy, to a guy the guys didn’t really calculate to a player who has earned the respect of the locker rooms and coaches. It’s important and it’s strong! Besides, he kept to himself, he didn’t grab his big head. He has become a leader, he is a great development. “, values Artguste. In addition, on several occasions this season, Yannick Bru entrusted him with the captain’s armband at the end of the matches, when Maxime Delonca, Guillaume Rouet and Mariano Galarza were no longer on the pitch.
Beyond his undeniable qualities as a finisher (15 annotated essays), Baget also put his versatility at the service of the collective. ” Rémy loves the game, he understands rugby, emphasizes “Cancan” Artiguste. It has a good read. He’s a creator, he tries it all the time. You often play behind him once he has made a difference. At the level of his individual technique, it is not always aesthetic, but it is always effective. »
Although he played mainly on the sidelines (26 games), the Bayonne squad also used him in the back (4 starters), in the center (once) and, in the middle of winter, when the white-and-blues were decimated at the opening. , we saw him train with the number ten on his back. ” At the beginning of the year I went to see Yannick Bru, who only considered me one extreme, to tell him that I could also play in the back or help in the middle. When I trained at 10, it was too good, he smiled. I touched all the balls, I was able to direct the game, I loved it. In our game system, the side lasted 10 seconds, so I really liked that position. »
Grégory Patat, the next manager of Rowing, has been notified. With Rémy Baget on the field, he will be able to benefit, at the beginning of the 2022 school year, from an often decisive end and a Swiss Army knife that can also help in various positions at the end of the match. In addition, after this first full year with a professional group, Baget will have to be confirmed in the Top 14. He did, in Pro D2, the season that Lebel did last year with the Stade Toulouse. No one knew him and he had a great season. Next year it will have to be confirmed in a higher category. He will be expected. I think he can do it. “, says Artguste. ” At the moment, I’m very happy that everything has changed, he admits. I didn’t want to stay in a comfort zone, even though I’ve only been playing for a season. We will go up, the staff will change, there will be a new way to train. The cards will be shuffled again. We’re going to have to fight like dogs to play, that’s what I like. »
Baget: “When Fabien Galthié called me, I thought someone was kidding me …”
Recently, his very good performance with the Basque club came to the eyes of the national coach, who explained to our columns in early June, to follow his performances. ” It is an example for many young people who struggle, who have problems, underlines Artguste. He honestly wasn’t really easy. No one believed him. »
It was the day after the Pro D2 final that Fabien Galthié and Rémy Baget had their first contact. ” I took the bus to Montpellier Airport. describes the boy. This is exceptional, because I usually never answer numbers I don’t know. There, I replied. I had to ask him three times to repeat his name, because I didn’t hear anything and he didn’t believe me. Since there was a lot of noise on the bus, I asked if we could call a few minutes later. » In the meantime? Believing in a joke from one of his friends, he asks his ex-partner, Aymeric Luc, the owner of the number who just contacted him.
The two men finally agree to reminisce two days later, after the euphoria of the title has passed. ” is unlikely love the child. Two years ago he released one or two Pro D2 players, but from there it happened to me … After my name came out in the press, everyone wrote to congratulate me, when it’s nothing. Finally, it’s great to be on this list, but it’s just a large group and I’m not sure I’ll go *. Therefore, I prefer not to let myself get carried away. But hey, I admit that a tour of Japan would be a great thing. A match with the Baa-baas, emotionally, would be the same and just as magical. But the blues, mistake! That would be huge … “
* interview conducted on Tuesday, June 14