Northern Isere. Sébastien Chabal, sports legend from the 2000s

The name Sébastien Chabal has again been with the name of CSBJ for a few weeks. With Pierre Martinet and Guy Savoy, the former Berjallian third line is one of the “sponsors” of the scholarship fund launched by the Sky and Grenade Institution.

CSBJ player from 1998 to 2004, he left his mark on his time in Berjallie. And in light of the referendum that our readers have addressed to him [lire par ailleurs]18 years after his departure, his figure is still much appreciated in the region.

“It is not surprising that Sébastien carries values ​​that are dear to him here, even though he is not from Nord-Isère,” says his former partner and friend, Pascal Papé.

He elaborates: “Seb ‘comes from a working class family. He still has it in him, even though the man has changed since his time in Burgundy. But he said it again during the gala of our gift fund, his Berjallian year will forever remain rooted in him ”.

To speak of Sébastien Chabal also means to mention the names of Julien Bonnaire, Lionel Nallet and Pascal Papé. The last golden generation from CSBJ’s ranks trained, while the club did not have a training center at that time.

“Sébastien, I and many others can thank Michel Couturas for his work,” Papé continues. Who does not forget that Laurent Seigne at the time Philippe Saint-André pushed them out into the deep end who were still children.

“At the time, Bourgoin was a real lab for young players looking for themselves and wanting to know more about themselves,” the current sporting director says, praising the great confidence that youth leaders have given them. hold at that time.

“If you look at all of our backgrounds, we’ve had successful careers after our years as players. It’s proof that the work was well done back then,” he continues.

Comments that reflect those Pierre Martinet made on the sidelines of an interview with Dauphiné freed a few weeks ago. The former club president told of his pride and surprise at seeing the man Chabal had become.

From the “sects” to the “caveman”

This symbol of success, the former third embodies it perfectly. By leaving the CSBJ in 2004 to join Sale in England, he then completed his transformation.

The military haircut and three-day beard in his first year on the field eventually gives way to long hair à la Samson and a three-month beard. The one who got the nickname “the pruner” from his teammates in Rajon, gradually becomes “Caveman”, the caveman.

Under the tri-colored jersey, then under Racing and LOU, he outlines the career of a player we are on guard against and whose commitment never fails. “From his early years at Bourgoin, he was fearful of his tackles. And besides, he knows his first call-up to the Blues while still at CSBJ,” insists Papé, adding that “Marc Lievremont can thank Bourgoin for trusting him. a pack of players from the club when he headed the XV of France ”.

Pascal Papé also faced his friend on a track as he played at the Stade Français and Chabal with Racing. “Of course I preferred to have him as a teammate, but every time we played against each other, we did it 100% because there was too much respect between us,” he said.

Respect and friendship intact. Which leads him to conclude: “Although we have all had fantastic years with our respective clubs, there is still this nostalgia for the first years in Bourgoin. The story of a group of friends who start in Crabos to do great things together in French team.

➤ In Bourgoin-Jallieu, before Chabalmania

Sébastien Chabal, who beat Ali Williams and Chris Masoe in 2007 during the Rugby World Cup, Berjallian supporters already knew him.

The appearance was not the same, but this savagery on earth, Chabal had already shown it under the sky and garnet colors a lot of times. It is very early his trademark. It must be said that it does not bother him to remember that he was not programmed for the incredible career he has known.

He arrived late for rugby, was 16 years old when he gave a chance to this sport, which had not convinced him the first time, a few years earlier. It was by following Alexandre Chazalet’s brother to training that Chabal was hooked.

At the time, he was training to turn lathes. He is a thousand miles from an international career and even less from a national. When he arrives in Burgundy, he is 18 years old.

When he leaves, he has 26. A few hours before his last match with CSBJ – a semi-final of the championship against Stade Français in Gerland in 2004 – he listed in our columns the names of those who had spoken for him: “First of all from Alexandre Chazalet, it was he who brought me to Bourgoin and I can only thank him. Then there was Michel Couturas who made me join the first team group as soon as I arrived, and then key players with whom I have made strong friendships. Without forgetting Laurent [Seigne]Philip [Saint-André] last year … There are so many people. I can only say thank you to all the people I have played, collaborated with, and who have made me who I am today ”.

From Couturas to Saint-André, Chabal retained the simplicity of men when, in 2015, he drew a line during his sporting career. [Couturas] picked me up and made me aware of my options. […] With him, it was old-fashioned rugby. In a handshake, he surrounded you. He had this ability to make us climb up the curtain. »

As for Saint-André, “he gave me another dimension. It was a good experience that allowed me to open up to others,” Chabal rewinded. It was “PSA” that convinced the third row to quit. to him in Sale in England.This British scene, which opened after this famous match, lost 31-21 against Stade Français.

The image left by Chabal? A tackle launched on Christophe Dominici to make CSBJ supporters roar with pleasure one last time.

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