It’s recovery! The Olympians put on their warm-up overalls yesterday to prepare for the delicate season that awaits them. No doubt boosted by a successful last edition, Pierre-Henry Broncan’s men remain cautious and move forward with humility.
A month after the popular joy, climax of a great season, the CO returned to training yesterday, at Lévezou. First in the championship for the first time in their history, finalists, Pierre-Henry Broncan’s men attack a new season, with full batteries, loaded with good intentions.
With morale high, Castres know that they are expected, they who have played their fourth final in ten years (two titles), with the 11th budget of the Top 14. In an interview published in July at the Castres Olympique site, the president Pierre-Yves Revol announced that this 2022-2023 edition “will be the densest in the history of the Top 14. So watch out”.
An opinion shared by the historic Julien Dumora (9th season, 200 games in the CO): “Necessarily watching. I arrived in 2014, the team had just come out of two finals and that season we played maintenance, staying on the penultimate day. Old timers like me, we don’t want to relive such a season, we have to quickly digest the last season to attack this one which does promise to be denser, more complicated and just as long. We must not miss the train from the start of the championship. »
“This season promises to be denser and just as long”
For this, the CO can count on the arrival of five players from Pro D2 (Azar, Maravat, Usarraga, Doubrère and Séguret) and the surprise arrival at the last minute of Leone Nakarawa. The 34-year-old winger says: “We are trying to integrate the new players quickly, we have no time to lose in this preparation, it will be shortly after finishing late and, therefore, starting late again. They will get used to it quickly, they are players with a very high potential, who have “matched” a lot in Pro D2. The adjustment time, I think, will be quick. Apart from rugby, we will put in place several things so that the group continues to live well as in recent seasons”.
A first day of soft recovery and with a smile to recover his marks. “We were able to regenerate, breathe well and enjoy with the family, it feels good after such a long season. We are all very happy to meet again. Everyone arrived with a smile at the preschool meeting, today was a fairly light recovery of good humor. I have the impression that we broke up a few days ago”, continues Dumora.
“The impression of having separated only a few days ago”
What should we expect from the CO for this season, which will start on September 3rd at Racing? The recipe is known: work, work and more work, with discretion, away from the media spotlight, to aim for a classification in the Top 6, although between players and staff, nothing has yet been defined according to Julien Dumora.
“We haven’t talked about it yet, this is the recovery with physical work, we will talk about the goals a few weeks before the championship. We want to repeat a good season like last year. But the thirteen other teams have the same desire in a championship where more and more teams claim the classification. »
Apart from a few Fijians and a handful of season-ending injuries, which were not serious, the group resumed in stride. After explicit and intense preparation, a few friendly matches (see box), the Olympians will want to sail on the momentum started last year. And he continues to write his story.
The recovery program until Racing
The recovery began in Lévezou, the Olympians will go to Saint-Lary for the traditional training camp that will take place from August 8 to 12. Two friendly matches are scheduled. The first will take place on August 19 in Montauban (7:30 p.m.) for the second edition of the Ibrahim Diarra trophy. And the second will be played in the land of the Tarn, in Lacaune, with the arrival of the Irish from Connacht on August 24 (6.30 p.m.) as part of the Vaquerin challenge.
The Tarnais will attack the first match of the Top 14 2022/2023 on September 3. They will now return to the capital to go to the U Arena and face Racing 92. Note that the box office for the first two games of the CO at the Pierre-Fabre Stadium is now open.