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Interview.  Rugby League: “I got out of my comfort zone”, Albigensian Baptiste Fabre talks about his life in Australia

Interview. Rugby League: “I got out of my comfort zone”, Albigensian Baptiste Fabre talks about his life in Australia

After his three-month freelance stint in Dorn, Baptiste Fabre spoke about his life in Australia and all the benefits this departure has given him. Albigensian, who returned to Oceania in mid-December, still prefers to grow among the Aussies.

What is your assessment of the three months spent with ARL?

Basically, I came home for the holidays and visited my family. But I remained happy. Albi is my city, my club. Played the feelings of leaders that I can do for three months! They know how to find the right arguments.

It looks like if you pushed yourself a little more you would have stayed more than three months. Is this true ?

They tried, I assure you. Some came back every weekend with stronger arguments than the week before (laughs). But I won't stay any longer. Because I have everything in Australia. My employer gave me three months to return to France, and I thank him for that, so I could not extend it in Albi.

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The most French of Australians, Baptiste Fabre, returns to support his former teammates for 2 months before returning to Australia early next year!

Santa Claus started this year…

Come on tigers!

— Albi Rugby League XIII (@AlbiXIII) October 19, 2023

How was your acclimatization to this new country?

Albie: I had the chance to meet an Australian who played in Cameron Darby. He hosted me for three months, I got shelter, a car … the adaptation was good. Even though I don't speak English well, living in Cameron's house with his family helped me improve a lot. Little by little, I began to live a normal life in France.

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You decide to extend the adventure.

Yes. Today, my visa is valid till July 2025. If I wanted to extend it further, I would have to work on a farm for six months, which is an obligation for the residence permit I have. But I won't do them. This season I will be playing with Brisbane Tigers Reserves, Karina Club (in the country's 3rd Division Brisbane Rugby League), who I played a lot of matches with last year. Brisbane didn't want to put me in the first team – there was a coaching change and some selections were made – even though I was available for the Tigers.

read more:
Baptiste, 21 years old, in the gates of the French XIII team

Do you experience it as a failure?

I'm disappointed not to be able to stay at the next level. But I still really enjoy playing. Even at this stage I will continue my learning.

Looking back, have there been any significant improvements since you arrived in Australia?

I learned a lot and it continues. The pace of the game, the rhythm of the match, physically, it's tough. Training allowed me to adapt and gain strength. After that, I need to gain more experience.

Quitting is a decision you won't regret. But is it really necessary?

He had to. I had to gain experience. Covid delayed my departure which further increased my desire to reach Australia. Staying in Albi would not have been really advantageous in my opinion. I need to discover something new and see how it's done elsewhere and above. It is enriching to face another rugby player, to observe and assimilate a way of working, whether physically or technically.

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“Everything is possible when you go abroad.”

At the individual level, is the need felt?

It did me a lot of good mentally. I feel like I have reached a milestone. Yes, it's the other side of the world, but it's important that I go far. My mindset changed and I stepped out of my comfort zone.

In Australia, you were nominated for the Gold Medal Banquet, the trophy that rewards the best player in the Cairns Regional League. It should be very rewarding.

I was happy because I only played there for three months. I was doing my obligatory farm days in the Cairns area and got the chance to play with the same quality team in Brisbane. With only five or six matches played, I found myself in the final of this trophy among names known in the professional world (for example, Ben Barba, NRL Player of the Year in 2012, champion in 2016). Beyond happiness, it proves, and this is the message I want to convey, that everything is possible when you travel abroad.

Congratulations to our 3 Albigensians: Baptiste Fabre, Mathias Léville, Nithim Petreiro selected with the French team for the tour to Kenya.

— Albi Rugby League XIII (@AlbiXIII) November 21, 2023

It was through the exit that you were able to open the door to the French team and you celebrated your first selection in December.

It proves that I am making progress. Till now, I have been selected for internship but not shortlisted. Even though I am on the other side of the world, I tell myself that someone is watching me. I look forward to wearing the blue jersey again in the future.

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Is the 2025 World Cup in your sights?

It's a goal, it's true. It would be great if I win. This will be my best motivation for the future and I will work to get there.