Rugby. The tough period of unemployed players: “Doubts settle, they don’t know where they are going”

Provale has identified 108 unemployed players. A list that has gone down, and the union especially supports these troubled men. (© Sport Icon Illustration)

“In this list, there are big names. There are French internationals, but also Argentines, Georgians, Fijians, Italians … Premium players, with a certain fame.” This list is that of players who did not win any contracts during the season. low, while the transfer market is officially closed for clubs Top 14 i Pro D2 from Sunday, July 10, 11:59 p.m. From now on, they are “stopped”.

A precarious situation that must be addressed. And know how to make money. The “good news,” if you can at least say so, is this Proval, the union of Professional Rugby Players, managed to ratify in the regulations of the National Rugby League (LNR) the fact that these unemployed players could be recruited until 30 September inclusive. “We were fighting for this additional period, and the presidents always said yes. There, it’s back to NRL regulations. This is a real step forward, “said Provale. Mathieu Giudicellian old pillar passed through Montpellier, Mont-de-Marsan, Tarbes and Biarritz.

108 players registered as unemployed

For 2-3 years, the trend has been clear: more than a hundred players are registered on the list of unemployed players, which has become confidential. “This season we are on the same base with a hundred players that we have listed as unemployed. We start in April-May, because players are supposed to know if they are being watched or not. There were 108 players. In Covid-19, we were around 120 players, 117 last year, ”explains the Provale leader.

If the number remains the same, an evolution is observed: this list has more foreign players. The reason ? The increase in JIFF (Player Training) quotas implemented by the LNR. “In the previous lists of unemployed players, 90% have found a club, and the remaining 10%, mainly foreigners. In particular, they returned to their country. It is true that it is an interesting link to analyze “, admits Mathieu Giudicelli.

The “super important role” of Provale employees

The latter also announces that the list of unemployed players has been greatly reduced recently, and clubs have had to complete their recruitment. “It has been quite a relief, because there are only 48 left. This is a real plus. This proves that Provale’s action is not trivial. The contracts are concluded mainly thanks to our efforts “, Giudicelli is not very proud to underline.

Effort made by the entire Provale team. And this, the CEO wants to highlight clearly: “Provale employees are doing a remarkable job, responding permanently to support them in this delicate period. His role is very important. ” Yes it is, because this period is a big blow to the morale of rugby players.

“Doubt sets in, they don’t know exactly where they’re going”

Psychologically, the player, who is mostly a human being, is especially affected. Periodic monitoring is necessary so that it does not get caught, does not sink:

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It is a morally complicated period, doubts settle, they do not know exactly where they are going. We really realize the precariousness of the situation, and it is not easy for them to recover. These guys are in trouble, and Provale accompanies them every week, calling them regularly, to see what moral state they are in, if their project has progressed, if they have a recycling project or not, and thanks to this follow-up we achieve goal players who are potentially in depression or in difficulty. We have a psychological unit for these players, we take care of it 100%.

Mathieu GiudicelliCEO of Provale

This cell consists of a former player and a former player. The rugby player has codes, different from those of civil society, and he doesn’t trust anyone like that. “It’s very difficult to get players to talk, because they have their pride and they don’t want to show any weakness.” Provale would like to have a psychological help department in the future, managed by a reference / expert in the world of rugby.

There is still no friendly match for unemployed players

The union would also like one thing: the return of the friendly match for unemployed players, who have been missing for years. But organizing this meeting is anything but easy. explains Mathieu Giudicelli Rugby news : “These players have unstable situations, because they can be recruited at any time in a club. And I think that stability is needed to organize this match, which cannot be planned in 3 days: it is not conceivable to present only 11 players, for example on D-Day ”.

The National, a new Eldorado …

Finally, if there is a small ray of sunshine for unemployed players, it is the presence of the divisions National 1 (formerly National) i National 2, which will see the light of day in the fall. At this level, hiring is possible until September 30th. And clubs, both National 1 and National 2 can recruit 4 more players during the season, 2 front-line until March 31 and 2 front-line until the Monday following the regular season.

“The National is something that interests the unemployed player, we have clearly analyzed it,” admits the CEO of Provale. Who continues:

All players expect the Top 14 or the Pro D2, but when it comes to late July-early August, you know it will be tricky because the teams are already very well formed. The National starts later, it has become attractive, because it is more and more structured. The players project themselves better and better in these clubs. The creation of this level has been, in my opinion, positive for the development of professional rugby, because it is a quality competition, high budget clubs, rugby fields, and allows players to join an interesting challenge.

Mathieu GiudicelliGeneral Manager of the Provale Union

All that a unemployed rugby player expects …

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