Atypical and explosive hooker, the Bordelais, expected this Saturday on the lawn of the Durban Sharks in the Champions Cup, a real card to play for the Six Nations Tournament after the withdrawals of Peato Mauvaka and Pierre Bourgarit.
“He’s a great Top 14 hooker (…) Maxime Lamothe will have to be counted on in future years for French rugby“. By pronouncing this sentence last week, his coach at UBB (and former hooker) Julien Laïrle did not think so well.
It was just before the injuries suffered this weekend by Rochelais Pierre Bourgarit (knee, absent for two to three months) and Toulouse Peato Mauvaka (broken finger, absent for more than three weeks) which upset the hierarchy of N. 2 French, three weeks from Italy-France.
Hitherto behind Toulouse Julien Marchand, Castrais Gaëtan Barlot and these two injured, a door may have opened faster than expected for the U20 world champion in 2018, who will celebrate Saturday in South Africa his hundredth appearance among the pros (84 Top 14 matches, 15 in European Cups).
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At 24, Lamothe, who went through Bayonne on loan to get playing time in 2019-2020, has become a real UBB leader this season. “He changed, he really evolvedconfirms Laïrle. “It’s important because he has a key position, he’s on a 2-8-9-10-15 backbone. We had asked him to take a little more thickness in the group, he is doing it“.
Lack of consistency when throwing into touch
He retained “need to adjust his consistency when throwing“, emphasizes his trainer. Complete hooker, modern and active, Lamothe distinguishes himself from his competitors by his mobility and his perpetual excesses of function.
Last season in Montpellier, he made an impression by toasting the entire Hérault rearguard to score in a corner, after an oblique run of 50 meters, with a hook on Paolo Garbisi and resisting the tackle on the shoulder of Antoine Bouthier.
Beyond “50-22» that he dares to try and even succeeds, as against the MHR recently, Lamothe does not hesitate to jump under the opposing referrals or under the candles, like a three-quarters, like a reference in the matter to his post, former Irish international Keith Wood twenty years ago.
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International scrum-half Maxime Lucu, who has been rubbing shoulders with his competitors at Marcoussis for two years, thinks so.very closeof the selection. “He doesn’t have a lot to changehe explains. He misses chaining big matches for 10, 15, 20 matches. Consistency is what matters at the top level and that’s what the staff of the France team look for. The better you are at the club, the more good games you have, the more you are likely to play games for the France team or at least to be called up. Luck will smile on him one day“. And why not from the end of January, with this stadium planned in Capbreton with the Blues, or later this fall?
“It’s a dream, a World Cup in France in 2023. Who wouldn’t want to play a World Cup in France in 2023?“, said the interested party at the start of the season. “But for now I prefer to focus on UBB, play good games and help the team win. We’ll take it step by step“.