Tricastin Simon Benoist recruited by Castres Olympique

Trained at RC Tricastin, Simon Benoist, 20, scrum half, has just been recruited by Castres Olympique (CO). A revenge for this former Crabos player of the VRDR, not retained in hope at the checkerboards and who broke through in the national at Aubenas.

Trained at RC Tricastin, you left the club at what age? “When I was 15, I went to study sports at Briffaut and joined the Rovaltain teams which were later taken over by the VRDR. I played two years in Crabos. Last season, my first U23 year went badly. I didn’t play a single match, not matching the coaches’ game plan. My former Crabos coaches went to Aubenas and I followed them to play in the National. For them, I had the level to play at this level. Very quickly, I joined the One team and I played 20 of the 26 national matches. I had the joy of scoring my first try of the season at the Pompidou stadium during the match against the VRDR. As a sort of revenge.

How were you spotted by the CO? “I was contacted by an agent in early 2022 who told me that pro D2 and Top 14 clubs were interested in players with my profile. We made videos and I was contacted by the CO. Very quickly, I was invited to visit the facilities of the club, I passed some tests and I validated my medical visit ”.

How does it feel to be recruited by one of the best clubs in France? “You couldn’t ask for more. This is the best level that exists. I still can’t quite realize that potentially in a year, I could experience emotions like the semi-final against Toulouse in front of thousands of spectators. It’s a real dream”.

The CO never lets go, is that also one of your particularities? “Yes, hence my somewhat atypical background. I have never been selected for the France youth team, but almost all the players in the Top 14 have had this experience. It’s not my case. I have always been in a small team against heavyweights, whether at VRDR against Toulon, Montpellier, LOU or Aubenas. We have never been favourites. I have the particularity of never giving up on the field. And the fact of not having been retained in hopes at the VRDR forced me to bounce back. For all this, Castre suits me well”.

Summer promises to be studious sportingly? “With the other ProD2 recruits, the recovery will take place earlier. The CO players are still in the race after we stopped for a while. We definitely need to get up to speed. I have a specific recovery program so as not to injure myself when recovering”.

What are your ambitions for next season? “Doing a few years in the Top 14. This year I had the ambition to play 6 or 7 matches nationally and once I did, I aimed higher. I want to play at the highest possible level but I am aware that it will take me time to adapt. I’m changing cities, levels, but I’m ready to take up the challenge”.

Apart from rugby, what do you do? “I validated my first year of L1 in STAPS in Grenoble and I have to retake L2. I have the possibility of continuing to follow distance learning courses as a high-level athlete. I would like to get into training, I trained the Aubenas U10s this season and I enjoyed this experience. I think I will continue to train young people in the CO but the management also tempts me. »