RUGBY. 6 nations. According to Jacques du Plessis, “France was lucky to have Paul Willems.”

Can you speak French please? A symbol of his return to South Africa, Jacques du Plessis prefers to express himself in his own language rather than Antoine Dupont’s. The second line, however, does not refuse any questions for fifteen minutes. He just picked up his son from school. It is the family that is the reason for his return home. ” Covid-19 has played a lot! I couldn’t see my family for a long time. You are alone in France and you are not always supported by many people. Except your wife and your son “, – he reveals. If he is happy today, making the choice to return home was not easy: “ I am very happy to be back in South Africa. I stayed in France for a long time, in Montpellier. I like the club, the city. It was a great experience for me to play in the Top 14, a very difficult championship. I spent six years there and missed my country, my family. Coming back was the hardest decision I had to make. »

The 28-year-old returned to his Blue Bulls training club. With Pretoria, he won the Curry Cup on 11 September against the Sharks (44–10). He quickly came to his senses. Although something has changed since he left in 2015.” The biggest difference is that when I left the Bulls, I was the youngest, and now I’m one of the oldest, he is laughing. But there is always this culture of hard work. »

Top 14 is not a hundred meters, it’s a marathon »

At the age of 22, Jacques du Plessis decided to sign a contract with Montpellier, who was coached by his compatriot Jake White. A time when the club loved strong players and above all South Africans. ” At first it was a little strange because I think I was a little young he admits. It is not customary to sign contracts abroad at such a young age. The person that I am today, what I have learned in life, everything I have seen, this new culture and this new experience that I have come to France to play for Montpellier, I would not want to change for the whole world. I was happy, especially in Montpellier. To be honest, at that time it was the right choice, especially to come to France to play in such a tough competition as the Top 14. »

If he had to adapt to a new life, he would also face another rugby in France. “ I think rugby in France is different. In South Africa you have a very strict game plan. In France, everything is a little more open and you can no longer express your qualities. So I think the skills are more developed in France, like passing after contact. This allows us to try not to always stick to the same game plan. You are trying to do this for a collective in France. I think rugby is very different where you are. If you have to play in France, you must know that there is a very long season. Top 14 is not a hundred meters, it’s a marathon “The native of Pongola, a village located in the east of the country, near the border with Swaziland, is spreading.

He also had to adapt to the new championship. At the time, South African teams competed in Super Rugby against Australians and New Zealanders. “ Super Rugby is faster even if in France too. I think I learned a lot in grappling, touching and rucking in the Top 14. »

Too many legionnaires in the MHR

In six seasons in the cistus jersey, Jacques du Plessis (27) has won two Challenge Cups (2016 and 2021). But the title of champion of France is not yet one of the goals of the Moheda Altrad club for several years. The player with 105 games in blue and white was a member of the Héro club. So what was missing from MHR to raise the shield? ” This is a good questionhe answers. I think MHR had good seasons in the last six or seven years with finals, semi-finals, playoffs, but they lost. We were very good in the Challenge Cup. This is a sign that we have been consistent. The culture of winning comes with time, especially if you keep the same group of players for several years and consistency comes. »Champions Cup - Jacques du Plessis plays it at Vahaamahina against Gloucester [Vidéo]Champions Cup – Jacques du Plessis plays it at Vahaamahina against Gloucester [Vidéo]He points to the club’s strategy: ” Every year you had a new team, new players, a new philosophy. For me, this is a sign that Montpellier was struggling during my periods. We cannot be permanent with multiple rugby cultures. I think that playing with the same players and the same philosophy allows you to be consistent. »

Regularity is the word to describe Montpellier 2022, having gone unbeaten in ten league games in a row from October 23 to March 5. He already felt the team’s recovery last year after the arrival of Philippe St. André during the season. For someone nicknamed “Thor” due to his long blond hair and overdeveloped muscles, MHR’s resurgence in shape isn’t just about PSA. This goes back to what he said earlier. ” I think the whole hiring system has changed, the whole system, even though Philippe Saint André has a lot of influence.he continues. When I arrived in Montpellier, there were a lot of foreigners on the team and not so many French. Now there are better French players and fewer foreigners. For me, that is why Montpellier has made progress. »

“France is lucky to have Paul Willems”

In Montpellier, Jacques du Plessis regularly formed a solid second line team with Paul Willemse. The South Africans met at the Bulls and then met in Occitania. If two players are close in the cage, they are close in life. Therefore, now he is following the matches of the French national team with special attention, where his partner has become a key player. “ I am very happy for Paul, he is one of my best friends! He has always been a very good player. In South Africa, he was never called up to play for the Springboks, so he made the best decision of his life when he came to Montpellier. Look, now he’s playing for France! He is a great person and a great player. France is lucky to have such a solid player like him. he says enthusiastically.Rugby.  6 nations.  Willems, Danti, they made an impression on the press, they presented themselves in a typical team.Rugby. 6 nations. Willems, Danti, they made an impression on the press, they presented themselves in a typical team.XV of France, Jacques du Plessis could also claim it. Fabien Galtier met the player at the end of 2019, immediately after taking office. He was unable to form a Franco-South African team on the second tier with Paul Willemse for more administrative than sporting reasons. In 2013, the former Montpellier player played in the U20 World Cup with the South Africans. However, his country and France considered the under-20s a second national team. Here he does not know how to play in blue-white-red. However, wait, he can still hope to claim the French national team. If he applies for a French passport he may be eligible to play for France in rugby sevens as it is an Olympic discipline. Then he will be in the top fifteen of the French through the seven, but for this he will need to play in the Olympic qualifying tournament, which is a sine qua non in order to get into the fifteen.6 nations.  France.  ''The whole body is stained'': Paul Willems was washed away after his stratospheric match6 nations. France. ”The whole body is stained”: Paul Willems was washed away after his stratospheric match While I was in France it was difficult because I couldn’t play for France. I don’t know why, but it is. » Without seeing how he develops with the tricolor, he can always claim to have opened up the international level of his country of origin. ” I dreamed of playing with the Springboks and still hope to be chosen with the Springboks. “He slips. But that’s not his priority anymore.” A lot has changed in my life, things are more important to me than rugby. I have a wife, a boy, I will have a girl. This is no longer my number one priority. I took advantage of these moments. I had surgery on my Achilles tendon for the second time. Right now all I can think about is going back and playing my best rugby! »