Planet Rugby

Rougerie ready for 'new beginning'

18th July 2014 11:09


Aurelien Rougerie on a run for Clermont

Page turned: Aurélien Rougerie

Clermont captain Aurélien Rougerie has described the club's upcoming season as 'a new beginning' following the departure of Vern Cotter.

Franck Azema and Jono Gibbes are now in charge, after Clermont finished last season without reaching a major final and lost their astonishing unbeaten record at home in defeat to Castres in the Top 14 semi-final.

"We've come back with plenty of enthusiasm. Everybody is volunteering to do their part," Rougerie told Rugbyrama.

"At the moment we're working a little bit on our physicality, but also our technique and style of play. There's a new system with lots of new interpretations so we have a lot to learn.

"Overall, we've turned a new page. It's a new beginning."

There have been a number of departures and arrivals. Regan King, Lee Byrne, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Gerhard Vosloo, Nathan Hines and Elvis Vermeulen are all gone - key figures all for Clermont over recent years.

Coming in though is a wave of fresh blood, in the form of Sébastien Vahaamahina, Jonathan Davies, Zac Guildford, Nick Abendanon and Camille Lopez.

A noticeable drop in age is a factor that Rougerie feels may help the squad in starting afresh.

"I don't know if we needed [lots of changes], but it will certainly bring a lot of freshness. We've said goodbye to those who have have gone and welcomed those who have arrived," added Rougerie.

"The training camp in Perpignan from Saturday will be the next stage. We'll be in our bubble and it will give us some more time to help integrate the new guys, and the international guys should join us also."

Entering his 14th season for les Jaunards, Rougerie underlined that he still had plenty left in the tank.

"We're still winners. We will try and get something this year. We haven't set our objectives in stone, but I think they'll be high like every year," added Rougerie.

"Personally I'm always mentally ready, so as long as the body follows suit, I'll continue to compete."

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
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Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
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Recent Results
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Sunday , September 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
Saturday , September 13
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Friday , September 12
La Rochelle 41 - 16 CastresLa Rochelle vs Castres Report
Saturday , September 6
Brive 26 - 19 ToulouseBrive vs Toulouse Report
Clermont Auvergne 32 - 6 Racing Metro ParisClermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Lyon 26 - 23 Oyonnax
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Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
1Clermont Auvergne518
2Stade Francais517