Former France captain Thierry Dusautoir revealed that the final two years of his playing career “were not enjoyable” amid the pressure of leading his country through difficult times.
Speaking as a guest on Le French Rugby Podcast, Dusautoir said that as an introvert, he never fully revelled in the captaincy but accepted and grew into the leadership role under Marc Lièvremont.
Known for his leadership through action rather than by his words, Dusautoir did, however, admit that he enjoyed parts of his role within the team even though it took him out of his comfort zone.
“I don’t like to speak so much, it costs me a lot to talk,” Dusautoir told the podcast.
“There was so much pressure, I remember a lot of games with the French team where there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders and I had to represent the players, talk to the coach and sometimes even fight with the coach.
“I didn’t have so much energy [left] to go to speak to each guy to see how they are doing.”
Asked whether he eventually came to enjoy being captain, Dusautoir offered a balanced response, perhaps summing up both sides of the leadership role.
“When you look at it from the outside, it’s great as you’re the first player of the team and you’re going to take the trophy to the rest of the team, but it’s not like this,” he said.
“It’s more complex than this, you actually have to manage the team in fact, it’s not easy. Even if the team is doing well, it’s never easy.”
Because Dusautoir was such a dominant asset on the field for both club Toulouse and internationally for his country, he ended up captaining both, something he says, made life not as enjoyable for the remaining two years of his career.
“I was captain for France and then captain for my club in the league, so this didn’t allow me to recover [from being France captain]. It cost me a lot because I didn’t enjoy the last two years of my career. The wasn’t so good and I was trying to find a solution to help.”
You can watch the full podcast episode below this short excerpt from it.
Le French Rugby Podecast full episode 11: