It must come as little amazement that it has taken Jean-Marc Doussain the best part of eight years to fully figure out the magnitude of what occurred in four-and-a-half rapid months in 2011. Fans from all over the World can book Rugby World Cup Final Tickets online.
Doussain ended the 2010-11 Top 14 season as a Bouclier de Brennus winner, helping Toulouse beat Montpellier on 4 June. But full international honors seemed some way off as he captained France to a World Rugby U20 Championship 2011 opening win over Fiji just six days later.
“When I think about it now-now that I have taken a step back eight years later – I realize that it was amazing to live it so soon,” Doussain told World Rugby.
But in the end, I did not take in enough because it was all so fast in four months.
“Now that I’m at Lyon, it’s one of the things I’ve been told. When we talk about me, it was that, my first test in the final against New Zealand. In retrospect, I realize that I was privileged to live this adventure.”
Impossible to refuse
Maso had called Doussain on a Tuesday, his call-up was inveterate by France coach Marc Lièvremont the following day, but before staying his flight to New Zealand the young playmaker first had to run out for Toulouse against Biarritz on Friday.
Everything happened very quickly: six months with the first team, we are champions of France, I go with the U20s, I come back for the championship and they call me for the France XV.
“It was amazing to train with the best French players of the moment. I was a kid and the average age was under 30 years old.”
“Of course I was well prepared for the U20 Championship, but the craze for the World Cup, especially in New Zealand, was multiplied by 10!” he said.
There was a lot of pressure around the team, especially since there were no good results.
Never too early
The debutant was unable to prevent Les Bleus from losing 8-7 in his short time on the field but, all these years later that has not dented his pride.
“I hope for them that they will be selected because it is never too early,” Doussain said.
We have struggled, as French players, to build over time and it’s good to take young players for this World Cup.
“My advice is to enjoy it, even if it will be hard. I lived it, but I did not appreciate the moment enough because it went so fast. They have been selected throughout the year and I would find it normal for them to be selected, given their potential.”
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