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Woki: 'Everything said or written about our relationship is wrong'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

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France Grand Slam winner Cameron Woki has slammed the critics who claimed that a bust-up in his relationship with Christophe Urios was responsible for driving him away from Bordeaux and into the arms of Racing 92 on a four-year deal.  

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It was last month when Racing surprisingly announced that Woki was their new man, a statement at the time reading: “Racing are pleased to announce his signing for the next four seasons. The back row joins from July 5 as an additional player. The club welcomes the arrival of this international player from the Ile-de-France region, who will continue to highlight the fertile ground of the Paris basin for French rugby.”

The move was put down in the media to a failure in the relationship between Woki and his head coach Urios when the season unravelled for Bordeaux, leaving them knocked out of Europe by La Rochelle and beaten in the Top 14 semi-finals by Montpellier. It wasn’t as if the critics had nothing to go on – following the end-of-regular-season Top 14 loss to lowly Perpignan, Urios pointed the finger for the defeat at his team’s leaders, Matthieu Jalibert and Woki.

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This resulted in the last few weeks of the season at Bordeaux becoming memorable for tensions between players and staff rather than results on the pitch. However, with the start of the 2022/23 season now just a few weeks away, both Urios and Woki have tried to clarify the situation that unfolded now that they have gone their separate ways. 

The coach went first, suggesting last week when interviewed in RMC: “I realised, especially in the second part of the season which was difficult, that I must have taken on too many things. There was a bit of overwhelming pressure, which was probably lacking in the key moments, where I didn’t find myself good. At certain times, I had to be much more lucid, better than I was. I wanted to share it with my staff and with the players.”  

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This was followed this week by Woki giving his version of events as he got down to work at his new club Racing. In quotes carried on rugbyrama.fr, he explained: “My departure has nothing to do with Christophe Urios. Let’s be clear. Everything that has been said or written about our relationship is wrong. Yes, there were tensions after the episode in Perpignan. If I decided to speak, it is to say that I regret my gesture during the playoff against Racing. This finger on the mouth generated bad vibes within the club. 

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“But I repeat, Christophe is not responsible for my departure. We keep a very good relationship. We had a big discussion before the semi-final against Montpellier. Behind, the tensions disappeared. At the end of the season drink, we had a long exchange again. This episode is now behind me.”

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