Bordeaux-Begles' bolter Bielle-Biarrey bothers boss before battle with Italy - GulfToday

Bordeaux-Begles' bolter Bielle-Biarrey bothers boss before battle with Italy


Louis Bielle-Biarrey.

Ever since Fabien Galthie took over as France head coach in late 2019 the former captain has been more than ready to give players, he describes as "UFOs," a chance.

Lock Thibaud Flament studied at Loughborough University in England, full-back Melvyn Jaminet had never played a Top 14 game and winger Gabin Villiere was a second-team scrum-half in the French fifth-tier before bursting onto the international scene.

The latest in Galthie's bolters is winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey, who made his Les Bleus bow in August, just two months after his 20th birthday, having played only 30 times for club Bordeaux-Begles.

Grenoble-born Bielle-Biarrey scored in his first international game against Scotland and became the youngest player to feature for France at a Rugby World Cup in Sept.14's win over Uruguay.

Seven days later he crossed twice in the rout over Namibia taking his tally to four tries in five France appearances, starring outside the likes of Antoine Dupont and Gael Fickou.

The victory was tarnished due to Dupont's injury, but the sold-out crowd ended the game chanting Bielle-Biarrey's name.

"It's always super to score but it's easy when you're with the best players in the world," fresh-faced Bielle-Biarrey told French broadcaster TF1 last weekend.

"It's the role of a winger to finish," he added.

Bielle-Biarrey is used to making a strong first impression, having scored a hat-trick on his Bordeaux-Begles debut in January 2022.

He has chosen to put his studies in business management on hold during the tournament and missed out on an under 20s World Championship title, to prepare for the senior competition.

Those decisions have borne fruit, his double in Marseille last week were superbly taken and he even set-up Jonathan Danty with a smooth pass for another as the French crossed 13 times in Marseille.

"I thought he was fantastic at the Velodrome," ex-France back-rower Imanol Harinordoquy told Monday's edition of the specialist rugby newspaper Midi Olympique.

"He runs at 10,000 miles an hour, he shows great class with his touches," he added.

Bielle-Biarrey seems to have jumped above another former outsider in the pecking order with Toulon's Villiere having dropped out of the matchday 23 for the win over Namibia, despite two positive performances against New Zealand and Uruguay.

"You feel that he can make the difference at any given moment and hasn't finished surprising people," Harinordoquy said of Bielle-Biarrey.

"He's grabbed the jersey, and doesn't seem to want to give it back," he added.

Next up for hosts France are Italy on Oct.6 in Lyon in their final Pool A game, with Galthie's leading title contenders having all but guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals.

In-form Damian Penaud, who is just five tries away from Serge Blanco's record of 38 France touchdowns, has made the right wing jersey his own.

Bielle-Biarrey is set to feature on the opposite flank, giving Galthie plenty of food for thought alongside fellow red scrum hat wearer Villiere before the knock-outs.

"I'm proud, I'm happy, I make the most of every moment, as you never know when it will finish," the humble Bielle-Biarrey said.

"I want it to continue but especially that the team goes as far as possible, with or without me," he added.


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