Gers: from the Union sportive de L’Isle-Jourdain to the XV of France, the flawless career of Karim Ghezal

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It is a consecration for Tolosain passed by the Lislois rugby club. Now coach of the XV of France, Karim Ghezal retraces his career in a conference organized on Thursday 5 May by the 1907 Club, the members of the Union sportive L’Isle-Jourdain and the club at the Meillon estate in Monferrano -Saves.

Return to origins for a former Union sports lisloise, Karim Ghezal, passing through Monferran-Savès. After a busy year for the oval, the coach of the conquest and specific tasks of the XV of France returned to the Gers this Thursday 5 May for a conference organized by the Club 1907, the partners of the Sports Union L’Isle-Jourdain and the club, at the Domaine du Meillon. A great opportunity to retrace his memories, his career and above all to find his former colleagues, coaches and friends.

A return that satisfies both the Gersois and the emblematic player. “I am very happy to find people like Pierre Sacareau who trained me but also to see elderly people. It makes sense because France represents all clubs and especially our home clubs, “says Karim Ghezal.

Inside the room we shake hands, remember fond memories in the midst of long discussions. Everyone is waiting for their moment to chat with the rugby player. Behind the crowd, a display of various shirts. Shirts worn by former players, who have been there. In the lot, the former Karim Ghezal: FC Grenoble, Montalbanaise Sports Union, LOU rugby or Castres Olympique. “It’s nice to see them again, it’s Monsieur Begué who must have more than me, I think”, he jokes.

20 years of experience in the provinces at the service of the French team

With 14 seasons and around 230 games to his credit, Karim Ghezal has reached the top of the chain. He will not evolve as a player in the 15th of France but takes the opportunity to integrate the staff to lead the group towards his recent Grand Slam victory during the Six Nations Tournament. “Today I am accumulating more than twenty years of experience and I have used everything I learned as a player”, explains the former rugby player.

A specialty: the keyboard

Touch is his specialty but his prerogatives within the staff go far beyond that because rugby is first and foremost a question of team play. “In the team of France, Fabien gives me the opportunity to work a lot in attack with Laurent Labit and in defense with Shaun Edwards, and all the memories of playing with William,” he says. A constantly evolving methodology which therefore focuses on performance.


“I started this sport for friends”

This is nothing new, rugby is represented as it should be in the south of France. But in France, the south is equally well represented and especially the Gers. Grégory Alldri t who played at FC Auch, Anthony Jelonch at UA Vic-Fezensac but also at FC Auch, most of them played at local clubs. Without forgetting the staff members with Nogarolien Bertrand Garet, physiotherapist of the team or Jean-Luc Passard, intendant. “We are all proud of our origins and all the better that there can be a lot of Gersois, this means there are good formations in Gers”, says Karim Ghezal. What is certain is that the former player absolutely does not regret his passage in the USL between 1996 and 1999.

“I didn’t even know you could get paid to play rugby”

The touch coach began rugby at just 16, with no ambition to evolve into a professional career. “I started this sport for friends. Today my best friends are still there. Everyone has made their way with a lot of work, even a lot of questions, but we are evolving ”. He pays tribute to the clubs, the fans, the coaches and the educators. Avec une humilité caractéristique de l’homme, il décrit un parcours, des rencontres et une carrière qui lui font rejoindre le panthéon des joueurs de rugby gersois. “Aujourd’hui on essaye d’avancer en sachant toujours revenir à la base”, concluded -he.

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