Rory Kockott (36) is going to play rugby. He will return to competition this Saturday (9 p.m.) in the European Cup. To help Castres who has some problems with his scrum halves – Arata and Fernandez are injured – he agreed to be integrated into the group that faces Exeter at Pierre-Fabre. Reached by phone Thursday evening, the young retiree told why he had agreed to resume his career.
“A bit of uncertainty”
“There weren’t really any discussions with Pierre-Henry Broncan, he just asked me if I felt capable of playing again, he explains. I said yes. So I resumed training about ten days ago. But I’m still in the locker room of the coaches. I hadn’t stopped exercising. I spend a lot of time in the gym, alone, but not stupidly melting down to get bigger biceps. I also do a lot of cardio, rowing, cycling, running in order to keep the explosiveness. I lost a kilo compared to the weight I had at the end of my career. After when you are a coach, you don’t really play rugby anymore, even if you are close to the players and who still touches the ball. So it can come back quickly even if I’m not an alien. There is one thing that can take longer, it is to get back into the habit of contacts. So there is a bit of uncertainty. »
“I am here to help the club”
In the past, other athletes have decided to resume their careers, or to start a second one. Will he be satisfied with this freelance, or does he want to continue longer? Rory Kockott, who intends to pass his coaching diplomas, will not dive back. “I was very happy to end my career even if I didn’t do it in the best way. I was a professional for 18 years, including 11 years spent in Castres. In other sports, we see professionals who want to do another year, and another year. I control my destiny, my mental preparation, and I am very happy with what I live today. The club, at the moment, is in a difficult position with the injuries of Santiago Arata and Jérémy Fernandez. I’m here to help the club. »
To challenge the able-bodied, Gauthier Doubrère and Julien Blanc, and to try to make the players understand – it’s a subject close to his heart – that it’s not because Castres reached the final of the Top 14 last season that everything has happened, and that they no longer have to provide the same efforts. “It is a mistake to think that the years that follow are alike. »
He said it, he would have liked another ending. His last match was in Biarritz on April 30. He had entered for five minutes. He had attended the stands at the end of the regular season, and at the final phase. This Saturday evening, he will therefore have the opportunity to really say goodbye. “Frankly, I don’t think about that, I’m not in that state of mind. »