The double life of Clément Maynadier: Safran Aircraft Engines engineer and international rugby player!
There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary about a sports-mad engineer. But an elite athlete who juggles a career both on the rugby pitch and at Safran Aircraft Engines is somewhat more unusual! But this is a daily reality for Clément Maynadier, who works in the M88 Technical Support Department in Bordeaux and was called up a few days ago to don the colors of the French rugby team.
Born in Albi, in the heart of French rugby territory but also a stone's throw from a famous science university (Université Champollion) and an engineering graduate school (les Mines d'Albi), maybe his d estiny was set out from the get go... Probably not, but that was the route that Clément Maynadier chose very early on. With success too, as he helped Sporting Club Albigeois reach the Top 14, French rugby's elite league, while graduating as an engineer with a double major in research and design as well as diagnosis and testing. Two accolades which were merely a sign of things to come: in 2013, after five seasons at Albi, Clément was scouted by Union Bordeaux-Bègles, one of the biggest teams in France. A change of location, a change of lifestyle: for a while, sport got the upper hand. Family was not far behind, though, with Clément becoming a dad! "For a long time I juggled everything", he explained. "I needed to make choices, take a step back for a moment."
A moment, but no more than that. He very quickly went back to the status quo though, finding that there was something missing after having hung up his boots. It was at this point that an opportunity came up to represent his club during an aerospace recruitment day. It was here that he met Pierre Anglès, Head of Support for Military Engines France at Safran Aircraft Engines. Interested in Clément's career path, Anglès contacted him a few days later and offered him the opportunity to join the company in the M88 Technical Support team, with flexible hours. "Clément embodies the values of rugby that I hold dear and that form the basis of team management", said Pierre Anglès. "Commitment, courage and self-sacrifice help further strengthen the team spirit of the ‘French M88 Team'".
"My work essentially involves implementing measuring and testing tools. It's a very important step for me: I have found a job which allows me to use my degree, and I am in constant contact with the "normal" world, something which is not always easy when you're an elite sportsperson."
Thinking about life after rugby
A year and a half later, Clément still finds that this very special situation fulfilling, and takes a moment to compare his two jobs: "fundamentally, they have many things in common, they both require 100% concentration, and I am surrounded by two teams! Two teams where team spirit and will to succeed are essential. I find that the two go together very well." His thoughts turn to the future: at 27, Clément knows that one day he will have to think about life after rugby. "This link with the world of work means I have many opportunities open to me: my current work makes me think that I would like to work as an engineer, preferably abroad. It is very reassuring to have this insight, even if I am still 100% dedicated to my rugby." There's more: when we met Clément, he said with a smile, "The Top 14 is great, but the French team, even if I played for the junior team, I am not even thinking about it at the moment!" Several days later, Guy Novès, the French coach, called him up to ask him to play for the Blues in a tournament in Argentina*, an opportunity to add even more spice to this fascinating double life!
*On June 25th, the French team defeated the "Pumas" (27-0).
- © Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran