Lester Etien will meet many of his friends from the Massy rugby club. Alongside his “buddies” Cameron Woki, Sekou Makalou and Gabriel Ngandebe, the winger of the Stade Français opposed this Saturday in the European Cup to the Italians of Zebre (3 pm), joined the list of 42 players invited to prepare on Wednesday the Six Nations Tournament. At 24, the native of Créteil (Val-de-Marne) even looks like an elder in a France group voluntarily rejuvenated.
How did you get your call to the Blues?
LESTER ETIEN. By Fabien Galthié (Editor's note: the coach of the France team) Wednesday morning. I was at rest that day. He warned me that I was going to integrate the list to go to Nice to prepare the Tournament. I had him two days before just after the victory against Toulouse (30-18) to tell me that he was following me. I didn't expect to have him on the phone again (laughs) . All of this means a lot to me.
It is not an outcome because I am not yet wearing the jersey. But it is a recognition of the work provided in a few years. Now that I'm there, I want to wear the blue jersey as quickly as possible. It's on my mind.
Tell us about your first steps in rugby?
I started rugby at 15, quite late, therefore, at the Créteil-Choisy club. At 18, I joined the Massy training center and I went pro the following year. Everything was linked. Pro D2 and federal 1 with Massy allowed me to forge my game. But I'm not yet international. It is only an internship and a preselection.
What does the Massy club represent for you?
The values of sharing and camaraderie are essential there. When the club went back down to Federal 1 (Editor's note: at the end of the 2014-2015 season) , I had opportunities to go to Oyonnax but I only had 10 or 15 Pro D2 games and finally even going down of a story, and I continued to learn. I am hardened and enriched. It was the right choice. I have no regrets. This is what allowed me to join the Stade Français in 2018.
Of all the thank you messages, which ones have touched you the most?
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My mother's. She was the one I got first. I felt that she almost had tears in her eyes. She raised me alone with my little sister. It was not always easy. And if I'm here today, it's thanks to her. He is the most important person I have in my life.
Can we be at the bottom of the Top 14 ranking and be called in blue?
I admit that it may seem paradoxical but we have been better for some time, everyone can see it. Fabien Galthié hasn't retained me for the past six months, that's for sure. Personally, I think our ranking (Editor's note: 13th, after being a long time behind) does not reflect the quality of our team.