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New laws benefitting French prop Jeremy
FRENCH import Jeremy Becasseau is revelling in the current renaissance of the small guy that is becoming increasingly apparent under the new scrum laws.
Before the latest incarnation of the scrum engagement protocols were introduced for this season, the tighthead prop was king and the best ones were commanding the highest salaries in Europe.
Evidence of this can even be seen at Sixways with Richard Hill having revealed Scotland international number three Euan Murray would be his marquee player — the squad’s top-earner whose salary can be exempt from the salary cap requirements — for this term.
However, now the ‘hit’ has been taken out of the equation by props having to pre-bind before the ball is introduced to the tunnel, the power-packed tightheads have been somewhat neutered and a top technician at loosehead is now en vogue.
This, according to Becasseau, is great news as, in prop terms, he is at the smaller end of the scale, standing 5ft 10ins tall and weighing in at just over 16 stone.
Becasseau, who was snapped up by Dean Ryan after receiving good recommendations from the Stade Francais coaching staff, said: “For the small guy like me it is really nice because the tightheads are generally in trouble.
“The last rules preferred the taller prop, but now it is in favour of the smaller ones. I prefer this rule to the other ones!
“All of us props at Worcester work closely and they are very friendly — we have had some meals together just to speak about the game and things like that.
“We work together and give each other things to help improve.
“For example, the tightheads here are very straight and don’t cheat at all — in France the tightheads love to cheat.”
Naturally, Becasseau dreams of one day making it in the Top 14 with his boyhood club Stade Francais, but he insists he is delighted to be a Warrior at the moment.
He added: “Stade wanted to give me some game time and they said I could come to Worcester as they have some contacts here.
“Dean was happy with my potential, so I had the choice in June and I think it is better to have game-time here than play in the French ‘A’ League.
“I hope I will go back to France one day to play in the Top 14 for Stade Francais as that club is in my heart.
“It is not about the money in France for me, it is more important to be playing rugby.
“It is a little bit different between the rugby in France and England.
“Over here it is more about the details and very focused on the role of each guy.
“The French rugby is more about flair and playing when you feel it is right — it is different, but I think it is good for a player to have the experience of both for a comparison and then to play the one he prefers.
“It is a little bit difficult when you have to change your language, your food and you don’t have your family here to help you.
“It is good, though, and the guys here are really friendly.
“I live on my own at the moment, because I will wait and see if I stay here for more than one year and, if I do, my girlfriend will come over to join me.
“It is part of playing professional rugby and you have some difficult decisions, that’s life, but it is normal to miss your family.”
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