“I am like a bird waiting on the wing,” jokes the future pensioner of La Rochelle Victor Vito

“I am like a bird waiting on the wing,” jokes the future pensioner of La Rochelle Victor Vito

Yes, it would be a bit poetic to go back to Marseille for the final play there. And if we can win, that would be very good (laughs). But I’m still focused on our current project, which is facing the race on Sunday. With all the threats he faces, I can’t look far ahead.

What do you think of the quarter-finals that Racing won against Ciel?

It was huge. I’ve seen players who are very dangerous, like Teddy Thomas, Camille Chat, Finn Russell, etc. The ball in the hand, the scratch… It was amazing to watch, but it was so good to do it, because we know a great match awaits us.

Especially after beating this team in the playoffs, in 2019, and then in the semi-finals of the top 14 teams in 2021, will there be revenge?

Yes, every time we play against Racing the match is very physical in terms of fighting up front, and we haven’t had much success on the balls against them because they are strong. But it’s a team that doesn’t just focus on winning, that really wants to have the ball in hand, we end up almost cardio-wise against them, every time (smile). Fortunately, we won those two games, which gives us confidence, even if it’s a completely different challenge. We watched their last game, and we know they are the favourites. We will be there to show our values.

“Our front row players are a bit sensitive when you show the pictures of another very strong team”

The race is the team that slows down the enemy balls the most in the European Cup, when La Rochelle is third in the standings of those who toss them the fastest. Will the differences be decisive?

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They have scratches everywhere! So yeah, this sector is going to be important, especially since we had a few attempts last week in Montpellier, especially me with a bad release of the ball next to the touch. We have to be cleaner in this sector, because if they slow down the balls, we will have to kick or play behind the line of advantage.

The Racingmen also won all their forms this season in the Champions Cup…

We know that too. This is the most impressive one, when I saw their scrum level, I threw it at Oweny (Atonio) and Danny (Presso), I laughed a bit with them… The challenge is there, they know it well, needless to add to that with our front row players, they are a little sensitive When we show them the pictures of another very strong team (smile).

Do you know where the Stade Félix-Bollaert-Delelis and its supporters are in French sport?

All I’ve heard is that it’s a fairly legendary stadium in football. But I’m a New Zealander, sorry, I don’t really know, because we have football (laughs). But I can’t wait to see it up and running.

Would not winning this semi-final be a failure?

Yeah. That’s exactly. We are realistic, but we want to win.

If you don’t win a title this season, will you stay next year?

(smiles). I do not think so.

How do you feel physically? New and offensive after a big match against Montpellier?

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