the great journey of Yoram Moefana

Yoram Moefana is a funny paradox. Off the pitch, his fine mustache and reserved smile in no way conceal his discretion. On the meadow, on the other hand, the young center of the French men’s rugby team is no longer shy. “Yoram, it’s a false calm, slice Christophe Urios, the coach who launched him at Union Bordeaux Bègles (UBB). In life he is extremely reserved, but in the field he is a lion with terrible aggression. » Sunday, February 26 at 4 p.m., the player will once again start in the XV of France, to face Scotland in the Six Nations Tournament.

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At 22 and after two initial meetings – victory in Italy (29-24) then defeat in Ireland (19-32) – where he did not particularly shine, the native of Futuna, in Polynesia, will be keen to shine. “Never, never would I have imagined myself here one day, to wear the jersey of the France team”, says Yoram Moefana, interviewed at the start of the Tournament. Because if he often skipped the stages, the player also made a long journey which started very far from the XV tricolor.

“I arrived in Limoges in 2013. It was winter, and at first it was really hard”, remembers the player. Disembarked from the island of Futuna in the luggage of his uncle, Tapu Falatea – right pillar passed through Castres and Agen in particular – Yoram Moefana discovered the metropolis at the age of thirteen. And the landing is not easy for the one whose family is divided between Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia… and the French rugby championship – another of his uncles, Sipili Falatea, three years his senior, evolves alongside him in Bordeaux and in the XV of France.

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In the wake of his uncle’s career, the player studied in Colomiers (Haute-Garonne), on the outskirts of Toulouse, before landing in Bordeaux. And wherever he goes, Yoram Moefana leaves a mark. “I really had no idea of ​​becoming a professional rugby playerhowever relates the player, who was introduced to the oval on his native island, but did not join France with a view to making a career. My parents sent me here was above all for studies and to discover another culture. »

First player born in the 2000s in Blue

Very quickly, it is the National Rugby Center of Marcoussis (Essonne), which he first discovers among young people. “At the start, he was facing us during the oppositions against the under 20s”explained Fabien Galthié in 2022. Aware of the young man’s potential since taking office at the head of the Blues, the coach invited him, in the fall of 2020, to join the tricolor group – the player then only had a few matches with Bordeaux in the legs, where he “let his qualities shine, and scored tries”, remembers Christophe Urios. During the Autumn Cup, in 2020 – tournament “invented” to adapt to the pandemic linked to Covid-19 – Yoram Moefana becomes the first player born in the 2000s to play in the blue jersey. “We didn’t hesitate to start him, because he naturally imposed himself in training. Despite his shyness, his potential was obvious”extended the tricolor coach at the start of the 2022 Tournament.

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