U20 World Champion quits professional rugby: “I was tired of training for nothing”

Very little used last year and not retained by Agen, Loïc Hocquet, U20 world champion (here against Toulouse in 2020), retires from professional rugby. (©Icon Sports Archive)

the XV of Franceshowcase of rugby French par excellence, he is doing very well, thanks for him. After years of hardship, he found colors, well guided by Fabien Galthié and his staff, an exceptional generation, and U20 World Champions who quickly left their mark, such as Louis Carbonel, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Arthur Vincent or Matthis Lebel.

But among these U20 world champions, not all are equally successful, despite real potential. This is the case of the third line Loic Hocquetwho just decided it quit professional rugby, with only 23 years. “I’m taking this decision well, because I’m blowing my head,” declares the interested party.Rugby news.

Only 4 games last year with Agen

Breathe, he really needs it. Because Loïc Hocquet leaves a season with Act it is not easy to live morally, having already experienced problems in the past (a blank year) and several concussions that prevented him from exploiting his full potential. His 2021-2022 financial year is only 4 small games, including only 1 term during a trip to Oyonnax where SUA did not expect much. “For me it was complicated in the head, because I wanted to play”, he explains. Before continuing:

My goal was to play, have fun at a higher level and see where I could go. Not being in the stands. I didn’t get my chance, they left me for 4 games and that put me out of rugby. I was tired of training for nothing: I made even more efforts to be able to play because I saw that there was competition, I even arrived early for training. In my head, I did my best. But they left me nothing.

Loic HocquetThird row U20 world champion

Frustrated by being left out, Loïc Hocquet has therefore made up his mind on the spot. He leaves the professional world and hopes to find his balance in the amateur world. “I needed to go to safety. There’s also a need in terms of mental health – I took it all home. When you’re a professional rugby player, it weighs on everything.”

With twenty matches in the Top 14, Loïc Hocquet, here against Castres in 2021, has decided to return to Valence d'Agen, his training club.
With twenty matches in the Top 14, Loïc Hocquet, here against Castres in 2021, has decided to return to Valence d’Agen, his training club. (©Icon Sports Archive)

The symbolism of returning to Valencia from Agen

Loïc Hocquet doesn’t hide it: he wants to “find pleasure playing rugby”. Therefore, it returns to where it was formed, a Valencia of Agen (Tarn-et-Garonne), a club that plays in Fédérale 1. “Going to Avenir Valencien is symbolic for me. I started there, took my first steps and experienced my first pleasures with an oval ball. It’s a normal return in my head, and also returning what was given to me. It is very important to me”, he says.

Other fan clubs knocked on his door, but his choice was clear as soon as he learned that Agen would not be staying. Hocquet explains: “I had offers at amateur level all over France, but I want to give Valence d’Agen what it deserves in the best possible way. My choice was practically made as soon as I knew that I was leaving the professional world, without having received any offers or projects from clubs of this level. I told myself that there was a logic”.

Training to be an energy diagnostician

Logical, but also a decision taken by Loïc Hocquet. The third line indicates that he had the opportunity to choose, and therefore that the path he takes was not imposed on him:

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I know why I quit. And I’m already preparing my conversion. I have the choice to be able to do what I want and what will make me happy. I’m going to play rugby next, while having fun and preparing for my future. We know rugby is very uncertain, I speak knowingly: I went from an under-20 world championship title and twenty Top 14 games at 22 to injury, a relegation to hell and a place apart.

Loic Hocquet3rd line of Agent who just signed on Federal 1

Thanks to the collaboration between Provale, the union of professional rugby players, and the Neoma Business School, the now ex-Agenais has trained in real estate management. “I have finished it, and I will continue there from October with a 3-month training to be a real estate diagnostician”, says Loïc Hocquet with a smile. Playing in Federal 1, he will have enough time to succeed in this last training session.

“My goal today is to work, to know something else, to see a different world than rugby. I need to turn the page to write something else”, he says. All specifying: “Rugby pro, I leave it in good condition, and if I have to find it, I will be very happy…”.

Hocquet: “I wasn’t selfish enough”

This professional world and its system is truly ruthless. During the night, you can go from shadow to light. And vice versa. Hocquet, always: “If you chain the matches, that you are good, that you have visibility, especially on TV, you can go to the top. But if you run into a difficulty, you can quickly find yourself following in the bleachers, and no one sees you there, even if you have potential. […] Today I no longer have the pressure in my back H24 when I get up in the morning, when I told myself I had to be even better because I wasn’t playing. I got up, knowing that I wouldn’t play at the weekend…”.

Agen, also has good memories. He doesn’t necessarily want Bernard Goutta, his last coach. “He came along the way, he had the pressure to save the club. He didn’t know me, and he couldn’t take too many risks. To those who have had their role before, I want more. And the 3e The loose line of this uppercut as a conclusion: “I gave it my all in training, I didn’t cheat, but I don’t think I was selfish enough. In this world, you have to be. It’s sad to say, because the values ​​of rugby are not that. I hope to find the good ones as an amateur.”

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