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Raphaël Poulain, Superman before the XV of France

December 24 category:Rugby
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Raphaël Poulain, Superman before the XV of France

This former French Player Stadium, author of a book noticed on its chaotic career, visited Wednesday in Marcoussis, to engage in a surprising intervention alone on stage in front of dozens of players and managers of the national team.

L'Express / f. Zecchin

In the early 2000s, Raphaël Poulain was promised a great career in the French stage. But excess repeated injuries of all kinds (alcohol, drag, drugs ...), his body has decided otherwise and has to give up his job. In 2011, he recounted his career in a remarkable biography of humanity and sincerity, entitled "When I was superman" (Robert Laffont).

>>> Read: the portrait of Raphaël Poulain

Today he wants to testify, to meet young players to warn against certain abuses and risks related to disillusion any sports career high. This is what he did on Wednesday night in front of over a hundred people, the National Centre of French rugby in Marcoussis, south of Paris. Many rugby players under twenty years of age were present, as well as the coach of the XV of France, Philippe Saint-André, and some international (Dusautoir, Bastareaud, Michalak, Kayser ...). Foal, 32, known for his acting gifts, occurred for almost two hours, between laughter and tears.

What was your response? Should we speak of "show"? To "show"?

Let's just say it was a kind of UFO. The story of my journey, alone on stage, wearing a t-shirt Superman. I told my life, from childhood to today, emphasizing the mental, psychological. I was virtually coasting, I was not really prepared text. In short, a sort of "let go" with, at the same time, a great mastery of the dates of my career. I also read some passages from the book. In the end, it was a beautiful moment of sharing with laughter, and tears too, on my side, and in my family who were present. You know, it's the culmination of four years of work on myself. In front of everyone, I came back on my own responsibility for what happened to me at the time of the French stage, calendars and Pom-Pom girls ...

The audience-they seemed receptive to you?

No mobile phone is released in the younger ranks, and that, I think it is a sign that does not lie! I had already done the same type of intervention in Castres, last October, at the invitation of the club, and the reaction was the same: really listening, attention. I have felt touched, concerned. Especially the kids because the main objective, it was them. I wanted to show them that beyond the field and its requirements, keep one foot in reality, think of something else that ball. I also told them about the press, and its tendency to sell the paper to praise the guys and then down the next. I then had in mind the situation of Fred Michalak, who takes it on the chin. For me, the media, and all actors of the sport, should realize that rugby players are not disposable consumer products. After my speech, Philippe Saint-André told me "you're really exposed". Pelous was also present. He was delighted because it is in the same spirit as me. He also wants to educate young people about the realities of rugby, so they do not start to fantasize.

Other similar initiatives are they provided?

I would like to commit to medium and long term in this project, find financial partners willing to support me. I will work with the league and the federation, I also hope Provale the union of players to go on the road starting in September and intervene before all training centers. I must say that the president of the federation, Pierre Camou, is the origin of Wednesday evening. Upon learning of my journey, and the book, he wanted me to talk to young people, in order to discuss all aspects of a career, pink and black. A priori, I should go to Clermont in a month and a half, but I also dream to unite the French guys and Racing Stadium in a Parisian theater. The intervention is aimed at young people, but also the pros in business, coaching, and the media. After that, I hope it will be an opening for me, by one or two years, other horizons related to mental coaching, collective or individual. With a certainty: it's time to put people at the center of rugby values.

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