Top 14 – Castres Olympique: hybrids, trendy refrain

Top 14 – Castres Olympique: hybrids, trendy refrain

Top 14 – Castres Olympique: hybrids, trendy refrain

the essential
The number of players able to evolve both in the group and in the three quarters is logically progressing in the rugby landscape. Castres and the Stade Français also have them in their workforce.

Hybrid theory. The name of the first album by the American group Linkin Park, released in 2000, has sold nearly 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century. Two words that resonate like a melancholy sweetness with the rock / metal fans of the 2000s, two words whose echo also reaches the ears of rugby fans. In addition to worldwide success, Hybrid theory – the hybrid theory in French – is also a hit in modern rugby. A melody tending to catchphrase. Because today the oval ball sees more and more so-called hybrid profiles, that is to say players able to line up both in the group and in the three-quarter line, arriving in the organic from the Top 14 and beyond.

Examples are Levani Botia in La Rochelle and Tavite Veredamu in Lyon, as well as the former Stade Toulousain and Harlequins Semi Kunatani player, and they have all the skills to evolve as a flanker, on the wing or in the center, otherwise real cats at balloon in hand. Elements of this wood, Castres and the Stade Français, who will meet tomorrow in Pierre-Fabre (17:00), can boast of having some among their ranks: Josaia Raisuqe with the Whites and Blue, or Sekou Macalou with the pink soldiers . “Macalou is one of the fastest players in the league, an exceptional athlete,” acknowledges CO manager Pierre-Henry Broncan, well aware of the X factor of this type of rugby player.

Offensive and defensive weapon

For Gersois to see the number of these players increase in the current oval is not surprising, on the contrary, it is even quite logical: “The physique has changed. Our sport is always going faster, so the weight / speed ratio becomes important. Consequently, we have guys in front who are faster and are able to evolve in final positions. While in the three quarters we have fast players, more and more dense and robust, thus giving them the qualities to integrate the pack. “

As was the case with Josaia Raisuqe. Arriving from Nervers as a winger last summer, the Fijian did not show his best face in this position at the start of the 2021/2022 exercise. The Tarn staff, after exchanging with Xavier Péméja, USON manager, had decided to replace him in the third-row wing, and hasn’t moved since. Raisuqe also signed a remarkable comeback at the Arena on Saturday, being “decisive passer” for Filipo Nakosi, author of the only result of Castres (19-25). “It’s a hybrid test, between a third line and a wing, Broncan analysis. We can also say that we have a third line next to a wing, or two wings side by side. “

In this action, Josaia Raisuqe occupied the five meter lane, which has become common as many flankers, during the offensive phases, crouched the five or fifteen meter lane on the wing to bring their power and speed to break the defenses at the end of the line.

But hybrids aren’t the only fronts to have a monopoly on speed, though. “We have a guy like Ryno Pieterse who is one of the fastest players in our squad, even though he is a second line,” informs Pierre-Henry Broncan. Profiles equally valuable in defense to orchestrate aggressive climbs and quickly chase the ball carrier. Hybrid theory has become a theorem.

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