Portrait. From dancing to the French rugby team, the incredible career of Marie-Aurelie Castel

During the recent Six Nations Tournament, Finistère Marie-Aurélie Castel wore the number 11 jersey of the France rugby team. Before that, she had a taste for classical dance, basketball and martial arts. Meet this atypical 22-year-old athlete.

At the age of 3, she wore ballet slippers and a tutu. Twenty years later, he wears the jersey of the French rugby union team. Finistere, the funny course of Marie-Aurelie Castel. A meeting was scheduled at the end of 2022 to clarify this textbook issue.

On the day of the meeting, a 22-year-old, pleasant and smiling young woman comes. He pulls a large suitcase marked “FFR” (French Rugby Federation) on his shoulder with a small backpack.

As soon as she got off the TGV in Rennes, Marie-Aurelie went directly to rue Janvier, opposite the station, for an interview at the premises of France 3 Bretagne. “I thought it would be more practical. she smiled. Go through here before you go home.”

From the Marcoussis training center

Sneakers, leather pants, shirts, earrings, Marie-Aurélie is fresh from Marcoussis, southwest of Paris.

Markoussis, the center of excellence, the Clairefontaine of rugby. For four days, he trained at the Olympic academy of French rugby.

High-level sports create it. Do a 3 week internship when you leave your parents at 18… you have to take responsibility.

Marie-Aurelie Castel

French rugby union team

The young woman has been living in Rennes for four years. At the age of 18, he left his family in Gouesnou, near Brest, to join Stade Rennais Rugby’s elite division. He is also pursuing his master’s degree in digital sciences and sports in the Breton capital.

With a cup of coffee in hand, Marie-Aurelie explains her plans. He wants to be a “sports scientist” in rugby “Optimize Performance and Prevent Injuries”. The tone is set, the words are precise, the voice is soft.

Amazing maturity and calmness. He smiles at this: “A high-level sport is being formed. We travel all over the world. “When you leave your parents at 18, go on a 3-week internship… you have to make a commitment.”

Dance, basketball, aikido and… rugby

Rugby entered Marie-Aurel’s life somewhat by accident. “It was always necessary to move, she laughs. We ran around the school yard.

From a young age, he was involved in all kinds of sports: classical dance, aikido and basketball for 10 years. “I loved”he encourages.

Basketball gives him the taste of team sports and strengthens his physical abilities. “I wasn’t very technical, but my speed and good support, which was useful for changing direction, were my main assets.”

“Explosive” player

1.68 meters for 62 kg: it is classified as“explosive”. An important speed today in the position of a winger.

“His speed allows him to get out of the defensive zone quickly”Anne Burville, head of the elite team at Stade Rennais Rugby, analyzes.

Marie-Aurélie of classical dance says she has “lost all elasticity”. On the other hand, this sport, which requires deep muscles, has given him good muscle tone. “I don’t hurt myself too much”he notes.

Discovered by FFR on 18

My father was a military man, so he headed the Brest Naval School from the second. There he must choose a team sport. “Volleyball and soccer, blah!”, she dazzles. He chooses the oval ball and it all begins…“I played rugby for a year at UNSS (school sport), the speaker encouraged us.”

At the age of 18, she followed the women’s club of Plabennec, Brest country, until she was discovered by the French rugby federation. “I got high”she smiles.

I don’t come from a family where you have to finish cross country first.

There is a competitive taste. So Mario goes for “shorter on the field,” as his teammates and coaches call him.

However, he admits “You don’t come from a family where you have to finish the country first”. He laughs and continues: “I like to challenge myself, I do well when I like what I have to do. I am determined.”

Hard worker

“Mario is passionate about what he does and works hardArnaud Le Berre confirms. He is a worker.” Back coach at Stade Rennais, forcing him to work on the pitch. But it is Mario who helps him in the physical training of the youth of the center of hope.

The term “worker” comes to mind when the two trainers talk about Marie-Aurélie. “He does a lot with his time”Arnaud Le Berre emphasizes.

Mario is good humor, simplicity, joy.

Anne Berville

Manager of the elite team at Stade Rennais Rugby

The young athlete experiences someone else’s taste and uniqueness. Even if he admits it “Not getting along with everyone”press “The Importance of Unity”.

“Mario is good humor, simplicity, joyAnne Berville appreciates. He smiles and brings lightness and that’s admirable in the group.”

In 2019, the doors of the French team opened for Marie-Aurelie: first as a substitute, then in the starting line-up against South Africa and New Zealand.

Of course, the salaries of sportswomen are still far from those of their male counterparts, but young women “She doesn’t want to compare herself to boys.”

“Women’s rugby is growing and it needs to be developed further. If the media is interested in it, the money will go to the coffers.”he assures.

In the spring of 2022, he played in the Mario VI Nations tournament. Winger number 11.

Unfortunately, the young Breton was on the waiting list for the 2022 Women’s World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand from October 8 to November 12 and was not part of the trip.

Set goals that are “100% in your control.”

Disappointment, of course, for this top-level athlete. But, as always, Marie-Aurelie keeps her cool: “I was not at the bottom of the hole, I did not set a goal to participate in this world championship. Frankly, I would be happy to leave.”

Set goals that he can achieve “100% [s]we’re going out”, this is the motto of Marie-Aurélie Castel. And for World Cup selection “A lot of external factors come into play, starting with having better players.”he concludes that he is a good player.

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