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Bouilhou : “Kaino is Batman without the hat”.



TOP 14 – The coach of the Stade Toulousain forwards looks back with lucidity on his personal evolution and evokes the last Champions Cup final.

How do you get the players to think?

The Anglo-Saxons take more ownership of the game than the French, with the staff taking a back seat and coaching the leaders. With Virgile (Lacombe) on the scrum and me on the sidelines, we are starting to do this. We brief the players beforehand and they present things to each other. They must not be afraid to advise each other, to challenge each other, to call me out too. Jerome (Kaino) or Charlie (Faumuina) are very inspiring. They don’t hesitate to interact and the others do. That sometimes allows me to change what I had not seen.

What did Jerome Kaino bring to you?

He and Charlie transform you. They have an impressive, singular attitude. I noticed it in Pau with Conrad Smith and Colin Slade. What they give off in their rugby and humanly, it’s simple, natural, humble. When you’re French, it leaves its mark on you. I know some who have won and are driving like crazy. Not them.

That much?

In Pau, Conrad Smith, double world champion, arrived in 2015. We were waiting for him like the messiah. At the end of the first practice, he picks up a guy and passes for five meters. Our three-quarters, who always wanted to do arabesques and complicated passes, looked at that… I’d bawled them out: “You see, it’s not complicated rugby.” As the season progressed, our young three-quarters were also making simple passes. It’s the same with Charlie and Jerome. At the end of the sessions, they do little workshops, not complicated and always well thought out. They have this simplicity ingrained in them. They give off something… let’s say quite far from the French culture. They are superheroes. Jerome Kaino is Batman without the hat (laughs).

But we don’t talk to them like we do to others…

That’s for sure, especially since we are almost of the same generation. Jerome, I don’t teach him much. When I talk to him, he gives me two or three tips, without overdoing it. He doesn’t say it in front of everyone to show that he knows better than you. He talks to me on the side. He or Charlie are wells of knowledge. But, if you don’t go looking for them, they don’t force it on you.

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