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Christophe Rouchaléou: “I am an African”

“I did not have the qualities to be a good player of 7 rugby, Christophe Rouchaléou. I had a bad technique, I was not fast, I was just a very good tackle. The reflection is astonishing when one sees the course of the old three-quarter center of SC Captieux and Stade Langonnais.Indeed, during the last twenty yearsthe native of Captieux has built a solid reputation on the seven-world circuit , notably thanks to his experience of two seasons to the controls of the selection of Kenya.

“They played djembe until 3am”

The trigger was his meeting with Thierry Janeczek . In the late 1990s, the coach of the French rugby union team proposed him to join the national team for the preparation of the development teams. “He put my foot in the stirrup,” summarizes “Roucha”. After having trained Mérignac and La Teste, the Capsylvain leaves the XV for the seven.

In 2005, he even became the coach of Kenya . “Their team did not score points in the international tournaments and the IRB wanted to get them out of the world circuit,” said the rugby union official at the Côte d’Argent committee. The latter arrived with the mission to relaunch the African selection. And the results are not long in coming.

“I did not do much,” he said. “I just changed their referrals, it’s the most played phase of the seven.” It’s much more important than the scrum or the touch. Kenyans were making long referrals to play with the opponent, but without the ball, it did not help. They did not know they were good in the air because they were not going to fight … “

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Djembe and beliefs

With the players of the high plateaux, the Capsylvain was well found. “I am an African,” he smiled, “I love their lifestyle, and after the victories I stayed with them to dance , and in Europe I am not known to be the most rigorous coach .

He remembers an anecdote in 2006 when at an international tournament, a journalist knocked on the door of his room. “He woke me up at three in the morning to tell me that my players were still playing djembe,” he said, but that did not stop him from falling asleep again.

“They did not put their heads upside down,” he said, “they just needed to get together, and the Kenyans have a different culture than ours .” Before leaving for the tournaments, they also had another ritual In the center of Nairobi, the capital, there is a hill where players pack a backpack full of stones and climb it several times to raise acidosis. But the only time they did not do it before the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, they were convinced they missed their tournament because of it, and an injured player went to see the village shaman Rather than the doctor, it is in their beliefs. “

And to learn the skills, the Kenyans went to see “Roucha”. There, the World Rugby trainor even has a skill to his name. Proof that he has made a place in the Kenyan culture

Source: Le Républicain Marmande and Langon

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Written by How Africa

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