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

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

By allowing the Olympic Castres to find the top of the bill a year and a half after taking over a team that was battling in the last places of the classification, Pierre-Henry Broncan is now in the light, he who lives only for rugby and his family.

You had to see Pierre-Henry Broncan bustling about on the lawn of the Allianz Riviera in Nice to understand that something was wrong an hour before the kick-off of the semi-final against Stade Toulousain. Scanning the stands, the CO manager looked for his wife Hélène and his two sons Leny and Alix. “All week, he told me: “You will be on the right of the exit of the tunnel so I will do everything to have the bench right in front. When we arrived at the stadium an hour and a half before the match, he called me and realized that we were on the opposite side and upstairs, so it was impossible to go down to the edge of the pitch. He managed thirty minutes before kick-off to bring us just behind. I don’t know how he did it. For Pierre, we absolutely had to be there. Beneath his tough looks, he needs it. For the final, I told him: you manage so that we are behind you from the start, ”says his wife.

An anecdote that reflects the importance of the family for Pierre-Henry Broncan. In front of his television set, his father Henry, who was not familiar with the story, had also immediately thought of his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren at the final whistle: “I appreciated that he let go after the victory against Toulouse. Usually he’s not like that. But he needed to get in touch with the supporters. He knows that Castres owes a lot to his audience, but I also thought that there in the gallery, there must have been his wife and two children. He is very family. He is lucky to have a wife who is very sporty (former basketball player who played in Nationale1, then the second division in Auch, editor’s note), who supports him a lot. You mustn’t speak ill of Pierre in front of her. She defends him tooth and nail when, sometimes, he can be wrong (laughs). It feels good to have such a family and such a wife. »

Moreover, the father, an emblematic figure of Gers rugby with multiple exploits with Lombez-Samatan and two titles of French Pro D2 champion with Auch does not mean that he has something to do with his son’s career. , while it is enough to have rubbed shoulders with the two men to see obvious similarities: “What brings us closer is certainly our knowledge of rugby players, the search for players who are good but who are unknown or not too well known. We’ve both been average players, so we’ve always valued average players who hang on in our teams. We’ve always been a little skeptical of those who are too good, even though we’re both very big fans of Dupont. But, we do not 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 made their sons into rugby players and men. Rugby is a hard sport, where you hurt yourself, and it’s the mother who consoles you. He doesn’t owe me much. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Fortunately, 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 years old and he is very sensitive to it. Twice this year we were told it was over. She came back. Pierre-Henry tells me it’s a bramble so much it clings. He says that with affection because it’s the Broncan’s trademark to hang on.”

Chantal’s shadow

We then touch on the intimate story of the Broncan family, the one that takes place far from the field, the one that is difficult to tell for Henry: “He had a very difficult childhood because he lost his mother when he was two year. He was raised largely by his sister Nathalie who was ten years older than him. She was young but she had the fiber. She was very rigorous, a great sportswoman, a marathon runner and she brought a lot to Pierre. And, then he also lost his sister ten years after his mother. As a teenager, he was quite tough, a bit rebellious, that’s understandable. That’s where the rugby was great, with mutual help and solidarity that you can’t find elsewhere. He owes a lot to rugby, Samatan College and the Lombez-Samatan Club. “Places where he finds René Daubriac, as a physics-chemistry teacher in college and as president of the LSC: “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 is palpable. “I witnessed this tragedy which occurred a year after the tragedy I had experienced, since I had also lost my young wife in a car accident a year earlier. It is the start of a deep friendship with Henry, which makes us say that we are brothers. »

When fathers take care of their hearts, sons need love. “Chantal pampered him. He calls her mom. She replaced Arlette and her role was essential, ”says the former president. Chantal Broncan could not stay in front of her television during the semi-final against Stade Toulouse. No sooner had she seen her godson Matthis Lebel’s try for the Rouge et Noir than she slipped away into the garden, with only the soundtrack to follow the evolution of the score, preferring to know the outcome before to watch the match in replay. This will certainly be the case again this Friday evening. Chantal could talk about rugby for hours. “He’s one of the few people who can advise me on a match,” confesses Henry. But Chantal never wanted to speak publicly about Pierre-Henry and their relationship. Modesty prevails. “Like people who do a lot of it, she doesn’t talk about it,” Henry continues. She was also the buffer between two great enthusiasts, between a father and a son, between the coach and the player, then between two competing coaches capable of violently yelling at each other during an Albi-Tarbes. Two men who love each other as much as they love rugby, with this oval ball to connect them since their early years at the Lombez-Samatan Club.

leader of men

A club and a village where Pierre-Henry built himself under the benevolent eye of René Daubriac: “He had his temperament, a strong temperament. He’s someone who cries when he loses, even when he loses at marbles or cards, pelota or tennis. In rugby do not even talk about it. He was forged in this state of mind of the LSC, of ​​the love of the jersey, of victory as everyone’s salary. He was fed to these values. But “my little Pierre” he made himself, he was not boosted, 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 learned from his experience to make an identity for himself, with his temperament. He does not fit the mold. He believes in what he does and he does what he believes. »

From his youth, it was written that Pierre-Henry Broncan would be a leader of men. Even his attitude off the pitch betrayed him for the former teacher: “In college, he was a little mischievous, with a little easy laughter and a lot of humor. It was he who took his group of friends. He was always ahead. I understand that it takes someone who decides, a teaser. He was a bit naughty, like a good scrum-half should be. And he was a good rugby player, a great technician, with an excellent foot and sense of the game. He had great compasses so he didn’t start very quickly but when he was launched he moved forward (laughs) but he was a winner. Either you are a competitor or you are not. He is. “His friend, former partner at LSC and witness of marriage, Bertrand Montariol, can also testify to this:” I remember a trip as a junior. We are going to play in Bagnères and it was a big game. The locker room was separated by the showers. He was with the forwards on one side motivating themselves intensely. On our side, at three-quarters, we were more of a dilettante. We had put on the “toutouyoutou” music. We sang and we did stretching imitating Véronique and Davina. Pierre heard the music and he went crazy. With the forwards, they came into our locker room and we fell for it. We came to the field with a few bumps. Pierre, he wanted to win everywhere, all the time. »

Pierre-Henry Broncan has multiplied clubs and experiences as a player and then as a coach, often in Pro D2, a formidable and very demanding laboratory, also changing hats over the various missions and adventures, while retaining the DNA of Lombez-Samatan running through his veins. It is certainly no coincidence that the CO is the first Top 14 club that trusted him to become the sporting boss, after a difficult time at Auch in the Top 16 when he was a young coach. “The first thing he told me when he arrived in Castres was that he had found the Lombez-Samatan Club,” confides his father. Bertrand Montariol also believes it: “He is always close to the LSC, he has it in his blood. He cultivates his youthful friendships, the family and fighting spirit of Lombez-Samatan. He finds him in Castres, where it is the little one of the Top 14 in quotation marks who manages to come out first. He has also been saying for a long time that he would like to introduce Castres players to the village of Lombez-Samatan, on a market day, with the poultry and the rugby club. An initiatory journey that he can now hope to accomplish with the Shield of Brennus in his suitcases. Before a well-deserved family vacation. Provided you find a rugby field nearby.

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