The international full-back, regularly positioned at the opening with Toulouse, confided in a press conference before the reception of the Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Sunday on behalf of the 12th day of Top 14.
In what state of mind do you approach the reception of Union Bordeaux-Bègles on December 27, when your match against Exeter, scheduled for last week, did not finally take place?
Thomas Ramos: The period is complicated, we all know that. Exeter could not play this match (because of cases of Covid-19 in its ranks, Editor’s note), it’s like that. There are two group matches left, well today we all hope so, but frankly we do not even know if the Top 14 will be able to go to the end. We took the opportunity to breathe. The staff offered me four days of rest and I took them with pleasure (smile). After cutting two days (December 24 and 25, Editor’s note), we will all really want to dive into the reception of the UBB which dominated our championship last season and which is finding good feelings again. We’re all ready. They got a game late, the standings don’t mean much (UBB is 8th with 24 points, Toulouse 2nd with 33 points, Editor’s note), and we expect a big game because they will come with intentions I think.
“I was not at all surprised at the level of Brice Dulin”
Personally, you have rather evolved at the opening since your return from the France team. How do you live this?
Going from 10 to 15 is pretty common since I’ve been here. We have a system that allows the back to touch balls as an opener or vice versa. Everyone is pretty versatile behind and the benchmarks are easy to find. When I have 15 on my back, I sometimes hit five, six balloons at the opening. I love playing in these two positions and it’s a pleasure to play alongside these players. It is the collective that is our strength. Playing next to each other and for each other is a real treat.
During the last two matches of the XV of France, Brice Dulin, back in blue, marked the spirits at the back position. Does this worry you?
It puts competition at the back position and that’s great. Competition with this larger group has been revived in all positions. Brice Dulin, we know him: he has a career, experience and he is not a player who has just arrived. He still has good years to go and I was not at all surprised at his level. It’s good for him, good for the France team. So much the better.