Bar***i, present with Toulouse at the most important moment
The international centre, which arrived from Lyon at the start of the season, took time…
The international centre, which arrived from Lyon at the start of the season, took time to adapt to the Toulouse context. But he will start for the capital semi-final against Leinster.
Great hope of French rugby, Pierre Louis Bar***i chose, by his own admission, toget out of your comfort zone» when leaving Lyon to reach Toulouse this season. We do not refuse a proposal from the biggest French rugby club. After six seasons at LOU, the three-quarter center decided to question itself by integrating training renowned for its excellence, and especially his flamboyant offensive game. At the announcement of his signature, the Haut-Garonne club was pleased to have enlisted a player “fast, technically adept and clean in defence”, having “all the ***ets sought in a center to perfectly complete the three-quarter line for the stadium”.
Unfortunately, everything had started badly for the player detected very young by RC Narbonne. On the first day, he was hit in the ankle against Union Bordeaux-Bègles. Returning to competition in mid-October, he took some time to fit into the rotation at the center of the Rouge et Noir attack. In December, he had let go of Rugbyrama : “From a personal point of view, obviously I am not 100% satisfied. It’s starting to go back to normal, I feel better and better. I didn’t play a lot of matches in the first part of the season, in particular because I had physical problems but also because I wasn’t 100% in the Toulouse project. Today it’s on the right track, I want to capitalize and have playing time, hoping that the injuries are behind me.»
“Do not necessarily be too demanding too quickly”
And to add:It’s a new club, it’s the first time I’ve changed teams, it takes time. I also have to let things happen, and not necessarily be too demanding too quickly. In the end, he managed to make his mark, playing a total of 18 matches this season (15 in the Top 14 and 3 in the Champions Cup).
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Of a discreet nature, Bar***i refuses to pull the cover to him. He leaves the light to the other big names of the club, and acclimatizes to it very well. “First of all, I didn’t consider myself a headliner in Lyon, he had specified. Then, my goal is not to become the star of the team. There are a lot of big names in Toulouse and they are put forward in a completely normal way. They deserve it more than the others. Personally, I don’t see any downside.»
The goal for him, initially, was to keep improving, to improve his game.”Coming to play at Stade Toulousain suited me to evolve in my game and bring certain additional qualities to it, which I could not perhaps have had elsewhere. I want to broaden my rugby palette“, he had explained in Noon Olympic. Adding that he is wellaware that the rugby practiced here is very offensive. What makes the difference, if we want to succeed in putting this game in place, is in the technical details: perfect p***es and runs, for example.»
Facing the Ringrose reference
When he landed in the Pink City, however, he was not completely out of place since he found Romain Ntamack, Matthis Lebel and Lucas Tauzin with whom he had been crowned world champion under 20 in 2018. And, in the end, he managed to find a place in the Toulouse attack line, despite strong competition for his position (Santiago Chocobares, Pierre Fouyssac, Sofiane Guitoune, Paul Costes…).
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For the clash of titans against Leinster, the former Lyonnais will pair up with the essential wall-piercing Pita Ahki. And he will face him one of the world references of the position, the Irish international Garry Ringrose. Unlike many of his teammates, he was not the knockout received last year in Dublin. He will have the opportunity to prove that he has the makings of the international level, he who has never managed to settle down and have a chance in the France team since the arrival of Fabien Galthié.
A place for the World Cup?
Regularly called up to Marcoussis, Pierre-Louis Bar***i must be content with the role of training partner or 24th man in the stands. Before arriving in Toulouse, he had three selections. It is still there. A successful end to the season with the Stadistes would allow him to shine a little more light in the eyes of the staff of the Blues, who successfully bet on the pair of centers Jonathan Danty-Gaël Fickou.
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And behind them, Julien Delbouis and Yoram Moefana should take on a supporting role in four months. One question remains: will Montpellier’s Arthur Vincent be back in time for the World Cup after his relapse from a ruptured cruciate ligament in the knee? If this was not the case, Bar***i would have a card to play. The misfortune of some making the happiness of others…