Racing 92 yesterday announced the signings of several star players for next season, including All Black Dominic Bird and Fijian fly-half Ben Volavola, but it is the addition of Jordan Joseph that may be the acquisition we all talk about in the years to come.
Just 17 years of age, Joseph is a powerful ball-carrying back-rower and played a pivotal role in delivering victory for the France U20 side at the World Rugby U20 Championship on Wednesday. With his side trailing at half-time to an understrength Ireland team, Joseph’s second half arrival sparked a resurgence from France and the teenager played a key role in their narrow win.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) May 31, 2018
A product of the RC Massy club in Paris, Joseph (6’2, 110kg) is the latest in a growing and extensive line of dynamic back-rowers to come out of the club. Yacouba Camara got the ball rolling a few years back, before the likes of Sekou Macalou and Judicaël Cancoriet joined the party in the seasons to come. Rabah Slimani also spent time at the club before his rise to prominence and Gabriel N’Gandebe is another product that we will hear much more about in the not too distant future.
The Pro D2 club have become a productive producer of talent in the south of Paris, with their Parisian rivals Stade Français and Racing 92 often quick to swoop and pluck talent away from the club, whilst Toulouse, Montpellier and Clermont have all also signed youngsters from the club in recent seasons.
Losing Joseph will be a considerable blow for Massy, but their successful battle against relegation from the Pro D2 this season at least points towards a future where they may be able to more successfully retain their homegrown stars.