Clément Maynadier, Safran engineer… and French rugby team member!
What does being selected for the French rugby team mean to you?
It means a lot! It's really a reward for all of my work and my sacrifices to get to this point. In 2016 I had already played two matches as a substitute during a French team tour in the southern hemisphere. This year I was chosen for the 6 Nations tournament, again as a substitute. However, it's complicated because I'm a hooker, and that's also the position of our team captain, Guilhem Guirado. So when I come on the field, I'm also taking over as captain.
With these three selections, how much playing time have you actually had in the blue uniform of France?
Counting the match against England on February 4, about 40 minutes, or almost 15 minutes per match. But it's really the team that's important, not each individual. There are 32 players on the French team, and only 23 listed in each match sheet. If the players on the field win the match, that's because everybody on the French team did their job during our practices throughout the week.
How do you feel about the match against England, and what are your predictions for the rest of the tournament?
We were a bit frustrated at the end of the match, because we made a few small individual errors, and the English took the lead just ten minutes before the end – it was a match we could have won. It's hard making predictions! Today, we still have three matches to go [in the second match of the tournament, on February 12, France beat Scotland]. We'll be taking these one day at a time and you can be sure that we play each match to win!
The 6 Nations tournament takes place during the French league season, the Top 14, as well as the European Champions Cup. How do you manage to juggle your practices, matches and your job as a technical support engineer?
Right now it's not so easy! But the 6 Nations schedule allows me to return home regularly, because match weekends alternate with free weekends, and our practice time during the week. I take advantage of that free time to work more!