For two months, Grégory Alldritt, the third center line of the French XV, will take a break from rugby. The Stade Rochelais player spoke at length about this subject to the daily L’Équipe. The powerful number 8 also spoke about the refereeing of the quarter-final against the Springboks as well as his future return to competition.
Gregory Alldritt gave. Much given. Besides, if there is a player who “doesn’t cheat”, it’s him. The helmeted warrior has performed impressively since the 2019 World Cup. Luckily, the player capped 45 times has barely suffered any injuries. But ultimately decided to cut two months, by mutual agreement with his club.
“I've had this break in mind for a long time. Since the 2019 World Cup in Japan, I have done a lot of training, although I have been lucky enough to have few injuries. Discussions about possibly taking a two-month break after the World Cup began with my manager Ronan O'Gara following the European Cup title,” explains Alldritt. Before adding: “He validated without hesitation. The idea was to be able to regenerate myself physically. I have osteoarthritis in my right knee. Nothing very serious. I will heal it and strengthen the muscles around it. When you do it every weekend, it's impossible.
But the player trained in Auch did not appreciate the term “burn-out”, put forward by certain media, after the announcement of this cut. “There was also the desire to take a mental break. But, contrary to what I have read about burn-out or mental wear and tear, everything is false. I was even shocked that we were talking about this when it is a very serious subject. The week of the semi-finals and then the final of the World Cup, I won't hide the fact that I experienced some somewhat complicated moments. There was a lot of disappointment. But my head is fine.”
For L'Équipe, the French bulldozer agreed to look back on this painful elimination of the Blues in the quarter-final against South Africa. "It's cruel. This match was difficult to watch. I tried to see what we could have done differently. There are a lot of actions that we could have managed better to swing the match in our favor. It was important for me to understand, accept and above all digest it.”
The reigning double European champion with La Rochelle also analyzed the contested (and questionable) refereeing of New Zealander Ben O'Keeffe, while not placing the blame solely on the latter. “Yes, some decisions were borderline... But that’s the case in all matches. Saying that we lost because of the referee will not allow us to move forward. We must open our eyes to our performance, accept this elimination and move forward.”
Grégory Alldritt gave a date for his return. He will probably resume training on January 1, 2024 and is already planning for the next 6 Nations Tournament. “We will want to win it even more. I am convinced that we will transform this frustration into motivation.”