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Top 14: Baptiste Serin, the man who can change everything for Toulon

Like a gust of wind on a house of cards.

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Top 14: Baptiste Serin, the man who can change everything for Toulon

Like a gust of wind on a house of cards. On December 9 in the Champions Cup, international scrum-half Baptiste Serin was seriously injured in the right shoulder. Verdict, a dislocation and a few months of absence. And much more than that. After a promising start to the season under the leadership of new manager Pierre Mignoni, the Var were in 2nd place in the championship before the injury of their playing leader. On the continental scene, the RCT was sadly eliminated in the group stages with the feeling that it had to do better.

Serin's absence weighed heavily. From 2nd place in the Top 14, Charles Ollivon's teammates fell to 8th. And of the 12 matches played without the international scrum-half, the Var have only won three. Proof that a single link can disrupt an entire chain. Because even if Ben White, Jules Danglot or even Lobzhanidze – who arrived as a medical joker for the scrum half – have never disappointed, Baptiste Serin is much more than a successful player.

The former UBB player is first and foremost one of the favorites of the Mayol public. And when we know that this represents… He is also a leader, a captain, a leader of men. A tough number 9, capable of shaking up his partners when things aren't going well. In the form of his life for two seasons in the Harbour, Serin was even recalled last August to face Scotland then Fiji with the France team.

Back on Saturday for a crucial match against Montpellier, the player trained in Parentis-en-Born in the Landes probably did not expect to return so early in the match. Called to take off his vest to replace the injured Ben White after half an hour of play, Baptiste Serin received a great ovation from his supporters. “It wasn’t specifically planned. I'm especially happy to be back in the group. There, that's it, you feel like you're serving a purpose. It’s been three months since I was of any use,” Serin analyzed after the meeting, in comments reported by Var-Matin.

Dynamite as usual, he set the pace for his team and delivered an assist to Dan Biggar before participating in Swan Rebbadj's try, with good defensive pressure. “The return of Baptiste Serin has done a lot of good for Toulon. His return to the pitch with this ovation really shows the importance of this player in this club and within the squad. When he was absent, we saw a Toulon who was looking for himself in terms of his game. There was no speed that he is capable of displaying, the carefreeness and the character,” underlined former international Cédric Heymans, now a consultant for Canal.

Back and in full possession of his means, Baptiste Serin could participate in a possible metamorphosis in the Toulon season. Even if he will not be able to resolve certain faulty sectors such as the touchline, the scrum half has already given a glimpse of a return to form. Next challenge this Sunday, a trip to the Reale Arena in San Sebastián to face Bayonne.

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