“When I think that I was asked if I was opening a retirement home! » Philippe Tayeb, boss of Aviron Bayonnais, does not deal with recruitment. It’s not his job. But last year, he made an exception for the two thirties Maxime Machenaud (33 years old, 38 selections) and Camille Lopez (33 years old, 28 selections). Not knowing if Yannick Bru, his manager at the time, was going to continue the adventure, he invested himself personally to recruit the scrum-half from Racing and the opener from Clermont-Ferrand.
“The two players have agreed to make great financial efforts to come. It’s quite remarkable.”
“We started with Camille, I spoke with his agent in July, that’s when I learned that he wanted to leave even if he had one year left on his contract. But it wasn’t with Camille that it happened the fastest. There was Biarritz on the spot, and the story of a pre-contract. It was easier with Maxime. We saw each other for the first time, at his best friend’s house, in Bordeaux. It was in October 2021. I immediately felt his desire to join us. We saw each other again. He came with his wife to Bayonne. Jacky Lorenzetti, the president of Racing, told me that Maxime would never come. At the end of October, beginning of November, it was closed. We had not yet chosen the coach, and therefore Maxime did not know his identity. But who can not love Maxime? »
“For Camille, we had to wait until December, continues Tayeb. Grégory Patat had already been appointed. Two days before going to Biarritz to sign a pre-contract, I spoke on the phone with Camille, and I sensed that he wanted to come. It was a dream for him, for his father, for his grandfather. It was then necessary to negotiate with Jean-Michel Guillon, the president of Clermont, who made the discussions easy. The two players have agreed to make great financial efforts to come. It’s quite remarkable. »