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Sebastian Chabal

Caveman earns keep as Balmain attraction


Then there was a 10-metre run with four Petersham players hanging off him in the moments before Balmain’s first try.

Georgina Robinson

February 26, 2012

Sebastien Chabal.Click for more photos

Sebastien Chabal, the beast of Balmain

Sebastien Chabal. Photo: Anthony Johnson

  • Sebastien Chabal.
  • Sebastien Chabal playing for Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal playing for Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal playing for Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal playing for Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal.
  • Sebastien Chabal.
  • A supporter in the crowd dressed as Sebastien Chabal.
  • Sebastien Chabal of Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal brushes off Petersham's Andrew Harris to score a try.
  • Sebastien Chabal heads for the try line to score.
  • Sebastien Chabal of Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal of Balmain controls a maul.
  • Sebastien Chabal of Balmain.
  • Sebastien Chabal of Balmain.

SEBASTIEN CHABAL earned his match fee with six minutes to go.

It wasn’t pretty – there was a hairy moment when ”The Caveman” looked like he might trip over his teammate Stephen Cameron as they motored down the right wing – but it all turned out OK in the end, with the French No.8 loping over the line, batting away a Petersham player and placing the ball just under the posts.

”I was thinking about going over myself but I did what the crowd wanted,” Cameron graciously said. A wiser move was never made.

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Balmain beat Petersham 19-5 in the curtain raiser for the Reds-Waratahs match at ANZ Stadium last night. But if one thing was clear it was that an international superstar does not a victory make. Chabal made a difference in the set piece, providing crucial go-forward at the scrum but his second-division subbies teammates more than held up their end of the bargain. Petersham’s No.8 – a prison guard at Long Bay Correctional Centre – certainly felt the impact.

”He got me there,” Tasi Apikotoa said, pointing at the pitch. ”He got me a good shot but it’s all part of the game. I pulled up a bit rusty after that shot … it’s something different, you don’t get that every day.”

Elsewhere, Chabal was, at the very least, entertaining. Ponytailed when he walked out of the tunnel, his mane was loose and flowing in the Homebush Bay breeze with just five minutes on the clock. There were a couple of crunching tackles. Early on Apikotoa managed to shrug off three Balmain defenders but just couldn’t get past Chabal. The 62-Test veteran went in low and hard and took down his man.

Fans erupted into wild cheers. He earned half his fee there. A few Waratahs couldn’t resist wandering out to get a glimpse of The Caveman. Tatafu Polota-Nau was first, Sarel Pretorius, Rob Horne, Chris Alcock and coach Michael Foley soon followed.

Then there was a 10-metre run with four Petersham players hanging off him in the moments before Balmain’s first try.

The men who made tackles on Chabal – Petersham’s left wing, for example, about midway through the first half – received hard pats on the back from teammates. It wasn’t a bad gig for a French rugby hero in between contracts. Four days of sunshine-soaked sight-seeing and 44 minutes of subbies rugby, all for an undoubtedly sizeable fee.

The French journalists who spent four days shadowing him were not so easily impressed. ”Isn’t that great, coming all the way from Europe for 44 minutes,” one sighed. ”It’s a paid holiday, nice weather, it’s warm here. And he doesn’t have a job.”

Apikotoa summed it up, split lip and all. ”[It’s] a great privilege, you don’t get that every day.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/caveman-earns-keep-as-balmain-attraction-20120225-1tvdb.html#ixzz1nP5fZXLK

The Caveman cometh, but much lower on the food chain


AUSTRALIAN rugby circles were abuzz yesterday as it emerged that French cult rugby figure Sebastien Chabal was headed down under.

Georgina Robinson

February 15, 2012

"I will tell you a little secret. I will play in Australia soon" ... Sebastien Chabal.“I will tell you a little secret. I will play in Australia soon” … Sebastien Chabal. Photo: Reuters

But rather than appear with a Super Rugby team, Chabal will play a one-off game for Balmain – in Sydney’s second division suburban comp next week. Balmain Rugby Club president  Warren Livingstone confirmed Chabal’s appearance this morning.

The France international, nicknamed the Caveman, parted ways with Top 14 Parisian side Racing Metro earlier this month, citing a communication breakdown with Metro coach Pierre Berbizier.

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He floated the possibility of playing in Australia, England, Japan or elsewhere in France a week ago, but yesterday told French radio station RMC that he had narrowed the list further.

”I will tell you a little secret, I will play in Australia soon. That’s all I can tell you today,” he said.

”For now, no more information. Neither the identity of a club, or duration of contract or even the nature of the championship.”

The 34-year-old also posted a cryptic message on Twitter yesterday, saying: ”Koalas ou Kangourous?”, which translates as ”Koalas or kangaroos?”.

The statement was widely construed as an indication Chabal was in talks to join a Super Rugby team, but instead he will play with Balmain.

Chabal’s appearance, set to be against Petersham next week, comes after Wallabies Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau both played in the club’s black and gold jersey last year.

Chabal was said to be the highest-paid player in the world when he joined Racing in 2009 on a reported €1 million-a-year ($1.2 million) deal.

There is no doubt his signing would be a boon for the marketing and memberships departments in any Australian franchise, but all the Australian Super Rugby franchises said they were not in the market for Chabal.

NRL club South Sydney were in talks with Chabal in 2008 but signed Sam Burgess instead.

”We’re pretty happy with that decision,” Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said yesterday, adding that the club had no further interest in the Frenchman.

There were reports Chabal’s shock departure from Racing followed a heated exchange with coach Berbizier.

Chabal, who was not picked in France’s Rugby World Cup squad last year, had been in negotiations with Racing about a new contract since the end of last year.

A statement from the club made on February 2 said Chabal and club president Jacky Lorenzetti had argued over the club’s ”sporting strategy” and had agreed to ”leave on good terms”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/the-caveman-cometh-but-much-lower-on-the-food-chain-20120214-1t443.html#ixzz1mPfcrIE2

“The Caveman” headed for SupeRugby


Former France international Sebastien Chabal has confirmed he will move to Australia to play Super Rugby in the coming weeks.