June 26, 2022

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Challenge Cup – Joel Gboku, Lou’s impatient Englishman

The Lyon public is not mistaken. When he left the field in the 67th minute, he was replaced by Felix Lambe, who welcomed Joel Gboku’s game with a round of applause. Logically then chosen as the hero of the match, the forward shone against the powerful Wasps bag. Sitting on his not-so-thick calves, the slim English second row, with an unofficial look like his former teammate Maro Etoji at Saracens, delivered a new XXL performance. Two weeks ago he was already shining against Montpellier (43-20).

That earned him the Oscar for Best of the Week in our column, only his second term in the top 14. He tackled less this time (6 tackles against Héraultais for 15, only one foul in two games) but won three defenders, and recovered three balls, the best total in the Lou row. More than statistics, his assassination, his energy, his speed and his simplicity with the ball in hand were impressive, especially in the first period, when Lou struggled to loosen the English pincer.

After winning a penalty on a ruck (9th), he pierced the first screen with a redemption ball, giving Baptiste Couilloud the first and only free-kick opportunity for Lou in the first period. Like many of his teammates, he went there with the dropped ball (46th), but none were perfect. And the player is still perfect. ” During the Under-20 World Cup, I saw him evolve against Jersey, Pamba and the company. Pierre Mignoni recalled. I found it very interesting. Next year will be even better. He will take his identity.

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Looks like he already took them well! On the field, but also outside. In front of the media, his youthful face, like any good expert trained in one of the best clubs in Europe, contrasts with the wisdom of the veterans, the ambition that emerges, and the spoon-mixed speech of the wooden language. .

If he responds to the media in English, six months after he came to Lyon, he expresses himself better and better in French. ” He speaks French well, he still has things to learn, but he’s fine, Jean-Marc breathes a sigh of relief, a mysterious smile on the corner of his lips. He is very open and he is good on the pitch when he plays. Easy to fit! He does it humbly. He is young, but he is already a great mature for his age.

Two weeks after coming to Lyon, even though the season is coming up, due to a language barrier and an injury sustained during his first match, a lot needs to be done to integrate very quickly and well!

A twist of fate then revelation

In La Rochelle, on December 27, in the rain that did not take an English rugby player out, his first tenure turned into a blood sausage. He came out in the 31st minute and was hit in the ankle and knee. ” I had a bad turn of fate by injuring myself in the first game. He is a relative. I feel good on the team. It was appropriate. I didn’t play, but I was in training. I came here in search of playing time. Thanks to Pierre Mignoni and President Ian Rupert for giving me this opportunity to show my talent to the world.

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A few hours later when his former club were ousted in Doolon, after being selected as the man of the match, the world began to get an idea …