Rugby. Top 14: Niniashvili, Hirigoyen …. The 5 revelations of the 2021-2022 season

Davit Niniashvili (Lyon) and Mathieu Hirigoyen (Biarritz) are among our revelations of the season in the Top 14. (© Icon Sports)

1. Davit Niniashvili (Lyon)

Lyon he really had an empty nose when he dug up Davit Niniashvili of RC Khamvli in Georgia. Arriving at the LOU at just 18 years old and without any professional match in the time trial, the winger or winger made a place very quickly in the Lyon rotation, admitting that he has bluffed with his ability to win his duels and his speed to the Top 14. plots.

The Tbilisi native got some playing time before the fall tour, which he played with the Lelos, who very quickly realized the boy’s level (first selection in November 2020). In late December 2021, Niniashvili earned his starting spot in LOU, playing a total of 12 Top 14 matches (8 starters). Of course, it’s still a diamond to polish (it’s particularly rebellious), but its potential is huge. In the Challenge Cup, it was dazzling, especially in the final against Toulon.

2. Mathieu Hirigoyen (Biarritz)

Already in Pro D2, the former U20 international had been very good. There, in the Top 14, Mathieu Hirigoyen, confirmed all his skills. In a team of Biarritz which suffered enormously, especially in the second half of the season, on the 3rde The line has never been demobilized, chaining great individual performances, especially defensive ones.

Trained in Anglet, Hirigoyen, with his rather slender profile, also shone with his mobility and aerial play. This season he has only missed one game in the Top 14 (J16), has only been on the bench once (24/25) and has played more than 74 minutes on average per game in the Top 14. We can’t wait. to see what he will give away next year with the colors of the Stade Français, which he joins with his teammate Lucas Peyresblanques.

Paolo Garbisi's Montpellier has a 10-point advantage over La Rochelle, 3rd, 4 days from the end of the regular season.
After a delicate start, Paolo Garbisi was able to quickly rectify the situation to bring the Montpellier side to just 21 years old. (© Icon Sports)

3.Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier)

Arrived from Treviso with the stamp of “future star”, Paolo Garbisi he initially had trouble getting used to the ultra-physical Top 14 game, but he also set his sights on the sticks. Quickly established (after his serious injury, Pollard was with the Springboks for the rugby championship), the 21-year-old Italian knew how to maintain the confidence of the Hérault squad, and raised his head while Montpellier chained victories.

Barely finished the 6 Nations Tournament, where he was one of the great architects of Italy’s victory over Wales, Garbisi brightly encouraged the Hérault’s game, alternating with the use of precision and taking initiative. He who joined the MHR through an Espoirs contract, and who was extended until 2025, is a real revelation: it’s not easy to be good in such a fast, so young strategic position, especially when you discover a new championship.

4. Maximum spring (Racing 92)

10 matches, all as a starter. And most importantly, while the Race 92 looking for a winger after the injury of Australian Kurtley Beale, the former international U16, U18 and U20 development knew how to perform at the best of times, to become the undisputed No. 15 of Sky and White at the end of the season.exercise.

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Surely, a player with a very good vision of the game and a dazzling support, the native of Irouléguy (Basque Country), whose father is New Zealand, brought a lot of encouragement to a line of attack of the Race 92 purring, even admitting to being one of his team’s best during the play-off defeat against UBB. He caught the attention of the staff of the XV of France, who summoned him to his list of 42 for the summer tour in Japan.

Pure product of the formation of the Tarn, Jérémy Fernandez reached his first complete real season with the C0, until the point to alternate like titling n ° 9 with Santiago Arata. (© Icon Sports)

5. Jeremy Fernandez (Castres)

You can be only 25 years old and still be considered a revelation. The number 3 of the hierarchy as a half scrum a Castres, Jeremi Fernándezpassed by Mazamet and Aviron Castrais, hatched late, and just signed his first full season as a professional.

Last year, if he had lined up 9 times in the Top 14, his playing time had not exceeded 171 minutes. This season he was able to find his place from late fall, to slowly overtake a Rory Kockott who didn’t have the output he deserved in the CO. Dynamite, interesting in the occupation of the feet, Fernandez saw his name in 23 cards (9 times starter), and has clearly taken a step forward. Kockott’s successor is found though and is also a pure product of Tarn training.

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