Lucien Mias, à jamais au Hall of Fame du rugby

Par Willy Billiard
En préparation de leur match contre l'Angleterre à Twickenham, le capitaine de l'équipe de France, Lucien Mias, met un bandage sur son genou blessé lors d'un test de condition physique, le 27 février 1959 à l'Athletic Ground de Richmond, dans le Grand Londres, au Royaume-Uni. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Lucien Mias, ancien deuxième-ligne de l’équipe de France (29 sélections entre 1951 et 1959) est décédé lundi 13 mai 2024 à l’âge de 93 ans.

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Il avait été intronisé au World Rugby Hall of Fame en 2011. Il fait partie des 150 Français à avoir reçu cette distinction.

Docteur Pack

Lucien Mas est né le 28 septembre 1930 à Saint-Germain-de-Calberte (Lozère). Le deuxième-ligne comptait 29 sélections en équipe de France, dont six en tant que capitaine, entre 1951 et 1959.

Sa première sélection en 1951 à l’âge de 20 ans fut une victoire 14-12 sur l’Écosse tandis que sa dernière fut une défaite 9-5 contre l’Irlande.

le pilier français, Alfred Roques, tente d’échapper au plaquage d’un joueur irlandais, le 19 avril 1958 à Colombes, lors du match de rugby, France/Irlande (11-6), comptant pour le Tournoi des Cinq Nations. (A terre, au centre, Michel Crauste; derrière lui, Lucien Mias). (Photo by STAFF / AFP) (Photo by STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Après avoir été instituteur, il est devenu médecin-chef hospitalier, puis en charge de la gériatrie à l’hôpital de Mazamet. C’est pour cela qu’il sera très vite surnommé « Docteur Pack » par une analogie qui liera les deux pans importants de sa carrière.

Puissant (1,87m, 105 kg), on lui attribue la paternité de plusieurs innovations techniques qui ont marqué l’évolution du XV de France destinées à favoriser le jeu des avants.

Grande gueule, ce fils de gendarme ne laissait pas indifférent comme lors de la tournée du XV de France en Afrique du Sud en 1958 – il fut capitaine sur deux rencontres – où les Bleus malmenèrent puis terrassèrent les Springboks. La France fut alors la première nation à battre l’Afrique du Sud chez elle depuis le début du siècle. Il remporta le Tournoi des V Nations en 1954 et 1959.

Respecté de tous

« Capitaine de l’Equipe de France, il a marqué de son empreinte l’histoire du rugby français par son talent exceptionnel et son dévouement sans faille pour ce sport qu’il chérissait tant », a témoigné la fédération française de rugby dans un communiqué.

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« Au-delà de ses exploits sur le terrain, Lucien Mias restera dans les mémoires comme un homme généreux, humble et respecté de tous. Après sa carrière de joueur, il a continué à œuvrer pour le rugby français en tant qu’entraîneur, dirigeant et même commentateur des matches du XV de France, laissant derrière lui un héritage indélébile. »

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Jon 34 minutes ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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f
finn 9 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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