He will be one of the bosses of the Sky and White. At the age of 28, Teddy Iribaren, who came to Racing 92 in 2017, was named captain in the same way as Maxime Machenaud, selected with the XV of France for the World Cup in Japan, and Henry Chavancy. After a difficult season, both for the Paris club and for him personally, the scrum-half who made his classes in Toulouse is impatient and determined to attack the Top 14, this Saturday against Bayonne at Paris-La Défense Arena.
How is this new season?
TEDDY IRIBAREN. We missed the last one (note: eliminations in the barrage of the Top 14 against La Rochelle and in the quarter-finals of the European Cup against Toulouse). It happens. After his title in 2017, Clermont did not qualify for the finals the following season. We missed something even though it's complicated to know exactly what. We have worked our weak points as the discipline. I can not wait to start the competition.
Do you think you can compete with Stade Toulousain, defending champion?
No team is better than Racing, in my opinion. I look forward to facing the Toulouse (note: September 8 in Toulouse). I came here to win titles. And I have not won anything yet.
Laurent Labit's departure for the France team has he been digested?
He left for something good, it's not like there were any problems at Racing. Laurent Travers (editor's note: now director of rugby) wanted renewal. Even if the philosophy of the game remains focused on the movement, systems change especially in the offensive sector led by Mike Prendergast. I think it's good. This avoids falling asleep.
You have been named captain just like Maxime Machenaud and Henry Chavancy …
Laurent Travers asked me and gave me the summer to think. I could not refuse. It is a mark of confidence and an honor. I invest more, I work more, I am more professional. And I'm trying to be a bit more optimistic because I'm pessimistic. I think I have more maturity now.
Are you referring to your expulsion that deprived you of the quarter-finals of the European Cup last season?
It really affected me. I did not respect the team (note: he had received a red card and got three weeks of suspension for a punch on Baptiste Serin during Racing – Bordeaux on March 24). This is a failure on my part vis-à-vis the club. Making a mistake is possible but incriminating other people is not permissible. A great player must remain master of him in all situations.
The World Cup, which concerns ten players of Racing, will it have a negative effect on the club?
From my point of view, it's not at all disturbing. On the contrary. I see the positive side. Those lucky enough to be there will not complain and the others will have more time to play. Everyone is happy. This will leave room for young people to reveal new talents. This season, the entire workforce will be mobilized.