Grégory Alldritt, the rugby player who knew how to press pause

Grégory Alldritt, the rugby player who knew how to press pause

La Rochelle third row Grégory Alldritt, before his club’s match against Racing 92, in Top 14, at the Marcel-Deflandre stadium in La Rochelle, June 8, 2024. XAVIER LEOTY / AFP

The sentence is innocuous, almost a little tease, in the tone of a joke. “The players haven’t cut since [un an]apart from you and the injured players”, said Fabien Galthié jokingly on March 10, during a press conference in Cardiff. The former scrum half was in a playful mood, having just seen his troops win in Wales. And this « toi » seeming to benefit from preferential treatment sat next to the coach, all smiles: the captain of the Blues, Grégory Alldritt.

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The Stade Rochelais third row, however, is not the type to go on vacation unexpectedly or to allow himself more rest than the others. But after the World Cup he needed to cut back. “It was necessary. I felt that I was physically tired, it had been three years since I was one of the French people who played the most. I preferred to anticipate before getting injured”explains Grégory Alldritt to Monde. Between the La Rochelle seasons punctuated by finals and the campaigns of the XV of France, it’s difficult to take a breath. Especially when you are far from being a simple pawn on the yellow and black or blue chessboards. Saturday June 15, he should once again play a major role for the Maritimes, who face Toulon (9 p.m.) for a place in the Top 14 semi-final.

A few months earlier, Grégory Alldritt was far from this type of concern. After the Blues were eliminated from the World Cup against South Africa, the native of Toulouse put away his crampons, stopped setting his alarm for training, and no longer devoted his weekends to rugby. Instead, he golfed, jogged and traveled to Scotland for his brother’s wedding. Only regret: he had to put away his expensive fishing rod due to bad weather. But above all, he rested and “stopped reading the press to break away”.

His body remaining that of a professional rugby player, Grégory Alldritt still followed a physical program to stay in shape. The third row also worked on his discipline so as not to shorten his break. “I missed rugby, sometimes I told my girlfriend that I wanted to go back the following weekhe confides. I kind of forced myself to do these two months. » He almost kept his rugby fast to the end, only breaking it at the last moment to participate in his team’s victory against Stade Toulouse on December 30.

“Get rid of the little aches and pains”

In his absence, Stade Rochelais did not really live up to its status as double European champion, with a series of defeats. Grégory Alldritt is not the one who wants it, and his tackles, runs and other charges were lacking. The vacation request of the helmeted colossus – formulated “six months in advance” – was however immediately accepted by the team staff. “They supported me and even asked if I wanted to take more rest”confirms the person concerned, who has worn the colors of the Maritimes since 2017.

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2024-06-15 09:00:31
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