Per Simon Galinier
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1. Zach Mercer (Montpellier)
It landed last summer from Bath, Montpellier’s English No. 8, Zach Mercer (25, June 28), quickly made a name for himself in the Top 14 (32 games, including 24 starters in all competitions). Thanks to his overflowing activity, his sense of play and combat, he led the MHR to the first Brennus shield in its history. And to think that the coach of the XV de la Rosa, Eddie Jones, has rejected him for a long time through the Canal …
2. Aymeric Luc (Touló)
Unfortunate hero of the access-match against Biarritz, the former Bayonne player Aymeric Luc (24) has managed to recover perfectly with his new club Toulon. During the first part of the season, he kept afloat a team from the Var adrift, which in early February occupied the last place in the Top 14, and was one of the great architects of the rise of the RCT, who did not qualify on the last day on the Racing 92 turf. He even took advantage of Virimi Vakatawa’s last-minute package to receive his first call to Blue in October 2021.
3. Jordan Joseph (Pau)
Double U-20 world champion in 2018 and 2019 and chosen best player in the 2018 World Cup, Jordà Josep (21) has long struggled to confirm his status as one of the great hopes of French rugby. Lacking playing time at Racing 92, he managed to return to Pau, on loan. A club from Béarn where he happily met the former France U20 coach Sebastien Piqueronies and it did not take long to consolidate like leader of the Section, marking his first test in Vert et Blanc, from his first mandate, the 6 of November before the Biarritz. He will also remain on loan at Bearn next season. In February 2022, it was also the first time with the XV of France, after the packages of Toulonnais Swan Rebbadj, to prepare for the third match of the 6 Nations Tournament against Scotland.
4. Nick Champion of Crespigny (Castres)
He came to Castres in complete anonymity, while playing in the Australian University Championship with Sydney, the third wing line. Nick Champion of Crespigny (26 years old) has been perfectly integrated into the Tarn collective, thanks to his qualities of attack, power and combat that correspond perfectly with the DNA of the CO. He quickly became one of the great third-line players in Castres (21 starters in 21 games), alongside his Australian compatriot and former Junior Wallabies teammate Tom Staniforth, landed in the autumn of 2020 at the Tarn, and it was logically blocked for two more seasons by the white and blue leaders. Another winning bet of the talent hunter Pierre-Henry Brocan.
5. Saghinadze Scholarship (Lyon)
After three seasons at Aurillac, in Pro D2, the Georgian international winger Scholarship Saghinadze (23 years old; 27 teams) was able to adapt very quickly to the demands of the Top 14, although he was not the best known of the recruits from Lyon. We especially remember that he had been chosen man of the match against Toulouse last October, thanks to a high-flying performance (19 tackles, 12 races and 39 meters won). His ability to break tackles and his generosity on the field have allowed him to make a place in the third row of the LOU, with 15 starters in 19 games in all competitions.
And also :
Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer (Bordeaux-Bègles), Beka Gorgadze (Pau), Tevita Ratuva (Brive), Rémi Picquette (La Rochelle) …
Turned on Rugby newsalso discover, this Monday, June 27, the 5 rookie flops of the Top 2021-2022 season.
SG, with the writing of Act Rugby
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