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."

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Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
Saturday , November 8
Castres vs Toulon18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Brive18:00
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Recent Results
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Top 14
Sunday , October 12
Toulouse 21 - 10 ToulonToulouse vs Toulon Report
Saturday , October 11
Bordeaux-Begles 59 - 7 CastresBordeaux-Begles vs Castres Report
Montpellier 25 - 9 Oyonnax
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 10 La Rochelle
Stade Francais 23 - 19 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Lyon 24 - 19 Bayonne
Friday , October 10
Grenoble 26 - 25 BriveGrenoble vs Brive Report
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles 51 - 21 Clermont Auvergne
Bayonne 10 - 15 Montpellier
Castres 51 - 10 Grenoble
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Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
1Clermont Auvergne931
5Stade Francais926