Portrait of Pierre-Henry Broncan, the DNA of a land and a family

By allowing Castres Olympique to return to the top of the standings a year and a half after taking control of a team that fought at the bottom of the standings, Pierre-Henry Broncan, who lives only on rugby and his family, is now in the light.

One had to see Pierre-Henry Broncan busy on the Allianz Riviera lawn in Nice to understand that something was wrong an hour before the start of the semifinal against Stade Toulousain. Examining the stands, the CO director looked for his wife Hélène and her two children Leny and Alix. All week he told me: “You will be to the right of the tunnel exit so I will do everything to have the bench right in front. When we got to the stadium an hour and a half before the game, he called me and realized we were on the opposite side and upstairs, so it was impossible to go down to the edge of the pitch. Thirty minutes before kick-off he managed to take us just behind. I don’t know how he did it. For Pierre, we absolutely had to be there. Under his tough aspect of him, he needs it. For the final I told him: you manage so that we are behind you from the beginning, “says the wife.

An anecdote that reflects the importance of the family for Pierre-Henry Broncan. In front of his television, even his father Henry, who did not know the story, immediately thought of the final whistle even for his daughter-in-law and grandchildren: “I appreciated that he let himself go after the victory against Toulouse. Usually it is not like that. But he needed to connect with the fans. He knows that Castres owes a lot to his audience, but I also thought that his wife and two children must have been there in the gallery. He is very familiar. He is fortunate to have a very athletic wife ( former basketball player who played in Nationale1, then in the second division in Auch, ed), who supports him a lot. You must not speak ill of Pierre in front of her. She defends him tooth and nail when, at times, he can make a mistake ( laughs) It’s nice to have such a family and such a wife. “

Furthermore, the father, an emblematic figure of Gers rugby with multiple exploits with Lombez-Samatan and two French Pro D2 champion titles with Auch does not mean that he has anything to do with his son’s career. , while it is enough to have rubbed the shoulders of the two men to see evident similarities: “What brings us closer is certainly our knowledge of rugby players, the search for good but unknown or little-known players. We’ve both been average players, so we’ve always liked average players who stand up in our teams. We’ve always been a bit skeptical of those who are too good, even though we’re both huge Dupont fans. But we don’t talk enough about the role of women in rugby. We are always looking for the father in our community, but very often it is the mothers who have turned their children into rugby players and men. Rugby is a tough sport, where you get hurt, and it’s your mom who comforts you. You don’t owe me much. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Luckily there was my daughter Nathalie then Chantal, my second wife and therefore her mother-in-law, to take care of it. There is also his grandmother Odette. She is 102 and he is very sensitive. Twice this year we were told she was over. She’s back. Pierre-Henry tells me that she is a bramble so much that she clings. He says it with affection because it is the trademark of the Broncans to resist “.

The shadow of Chantal

We then touch on the intimate story of the Broncan family, the one that takes place away from the field, the one that is difficult for Henry to tell: “He had a very difficult childhood because he lost his mother when he was two. He was raised largely by his Sister Nathalie, who was ten years older than him. She was young but had fiber. She was very strict, a great sportswoman, a marathoner and she brought a lot to Pierre. And then she also lost her sister ten years after her mother. As a teenager. he was pretty tough, a bit rebellious, that’s understandable. That’s where rugby was great, with mutual help and solidarity you can’t find anywhere else. It owes a lot to rugby, Samatan College and the Lombez-Samatan Club. ” Places where he finds René Daubriac, college physics-chemistry teacher and LSC president: “My little Pierre has grown up well. I used to call him” my little Pierre “because I took him in my arms when I was very young and I love him like one of the family. “The emotion it is palpable: “I witnessed this tragedy one year after the tragedy I had experienced, as a year earlier I had also lost my young wife in a car accident. It is the beginning of a deep friendship with Henry, which makes us say that we are brothers. “

When fathers take care of their hearts, children need love. ” “Chantal pampered him. He calls her mother. He replaced Arlette and her role was crucial, ”says the former president. Chantal Broncan was unable to stand in front of her television during the semi-final against Stade Toulouse. As soon as she saw her godson Matthis Lebel’s goal for Rouge et Noir, she slipped away into the garden, with only the soundtrack to follow the evolution of the score, preferring to know the result before watching the rerun. . It will certainly be the same this Friday evening. Chantal could talk about rugby for hours. “She is one of the few people who can advise me on a game,” confesses Henry. But she Chantal never wanted to talk publicly about Pierre-Henry and their relationship. Modesty prevails. “Like people who make a lot of it, she doesn’t talk about it,” Henry continues. She was also the buffer between two great fans, between a father and a son, between the coach and the player, then between two competing coaches capable of scolding each other violently during an Albi-Tarbes. Two men who love each other as much as they love rugby, with this oval ball that has united them since their early years at Club Lombez-Samatan.

chief of men

A club and a village where Pierre-Henry built himself under the benevolent eye of René Daubriac: “He had his own temperament, a strong temperament. He is one who cries when he loses, even when he loses in marbles or cards, pelota or tennis. In rugby he doesn’t even talk about it. He was forged in this state of mind of the LSC, of ​​the love for the shirt, of winning as everyone’s salary. He was nurtured by these values. But “my little Pierre” made himself, he wasn’t empowered, he made his way. He was brilliant. He is someone who is eager to know. Just look at his desire to go to Bath. He has learned from his experience to make himself an identity, with his temperament of him. He doesn’t fit the mold. He believes in what he does and does what he believes in. “

From his youth, it was written that Pierre-Henry Broncan would be a leader of men. His attitude off the pitch also betrayed him for the former teacher: “In college he was a little naughty, with some easy laughter and a lot of humor. He was the one who took his group of friends. He was always ahead. I understand that it takes someone who decides, a teaser. He was a little bad, as a good scrum half should be. And he was a good rugby player, a great coach, with a great foot and a sense of play, he had great compasses so he didn’t start very fast but when he was thrown he went on (laughs) but he was a winner. You are either a competitor or you are not. He is. “Even his friend, former partner of LSC and witness of marriage, Bertrand Montariol, can testify:” I remember a trip as a young man. We will play in Bagnères and it was an important match. The changing room was separated from the showers. It was with the attackers on the one hand that he was intensely motivated. For our part, in three quarters, we were more amateurs. We had put on the music “toutouyoutou”. We sang and stretched imitating Véronique and Davina. Pierre heard the music and went crazy. With the forwards, they entered our dressing room and we fell in love. We took the field with a few hits. Pierre, he wanted to win everywhere, always. “

Pierre-Henry Broncan has multiplied the clubs and experiences as a player and then as a coach, often in Pro D2, a formidable and very demanding laboratory, also changing hats in the various missions and adventures, while retaining the Lombez-Samatan DNA that runs through the its veins. It is certainly no coincidence that the CO is the first Top 14 club to entrust him with the position of sports coach, after a difficult period in Auch in the Top 16 when he was a young manager. “The first thing he told me when he arrived in Castres was that he founded the Lombez-Samatan Club,” says his father. Bertrand Montariol also believes in it: “He is always close to LSC, he has it in his blood. He cultivates his youthful friendships, family and Lombez-Samatan’s fighting spirit. He finds him in Castres, where he is the little one of the Top 14 in quotes who manages to get out first. He has also been saying for some time that he would like to present the Castres players in the village of Lombez-Samatan, on a market day, with the poultry and rugby club. An initiatory journey that he can now hope to make with the Shield of Brennus in his suitcases, before a well-deserved family vacation. Provided you find a rugby pitch nearby.

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