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Racing 92 reaping rewards from Bok captain's presence

PREVIEW: Racing 92’s South African Tristan Tedder welcomes former club Toulouse in the French Top 14 on Sunday with Siya Kolisi offering words of wisdom for the playmaker in his eighth season in France.

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Tedder joined the record 22-time champions in 2016 before spells with Bayonne, Beziers and Perpignan. He then moved to the French capital at the start of the season, helping Racing to the number one spot in the table after 12 rounds.

Kolisi, 32, arrived after lifting a second World Cup with the Springboks in October for his first taste of French club rugby.

“We spoke a bit, I didn’t give him any advice,” Durban-born Tedder told reporters after last Saturday’s Champions Cup win over Cardiff.

“He’s a double World Cup winner, South Africa captain, I’m just a rugby player who has played in the Top 14.

“It’s more that I asked for advice. Where can I improve,” he added in fluent French.

 

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Tedder, 27, who can play at flyhalf and fullback, came through the Sharks academy before playing 15 games for Toulouse.

He has scored more than 600 points in French rugby with last season’s campaign at Perpignan earning him a move to Racing, six-time champions based in the wealthy leafy western Parisian suburbs.

“In South Africa, I was at boarding school until I was 18. I left South Africa at 19,” he said.

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“My life outside of school, I didn’t have much of it. I grew up quite a bit in France.

“It’s never easy to be far from your family but it’s the sacrifice you have to make, it comes with the job,” he added.

This week, Racing confirmed another superstar would be joining Kolisi at the club with the arrival of former England captain Owen Farrell next season.

They add to a squad including Fji powerhouse Josua Tuisova and France Gael Fickou, who is one of five players unavailable this weekend for Racing as he prepares for the Six Nations, starting on February 2.

‘Terrifying’

Toulouse are also missing a host of squad members with Tedder’s former teammates front rows Cyril Baille and Julien Marchand among eight away with Les Bleus.

Tedder has faced fourth-placed Toulouse four times since leaving Stade Ernest Wallon in 2021, including kicking 16 points in last May’s win with Perpignan.

One positive for Ugo Mola’s side is Antoine Dupont’s presence as he sits out the Six Nations to be able to train with France’s Sevens squad before this summer’s Paris Olympics.

“Even if it’s terrifying for us to play against someone like him, we want to play against the best in the world,” Tedder said.

“It’s not because it’s Antoine Dupont, we’ll be scared as there will be 14 other players on the field but he’s a really good player,” he added.

Fixtures (times GMT)

Saturday

Bordeaux-Begles v Stade Francais (14.05)
Bayonne v Oyonnax (16.00)
Castres v Clermont (16.00)
Lyon v Perpignan (16.00)
Montpellier v Pau (16.00)
Toulon v La Rochelle (20.05)

Sunday

Racing 92 v Toulouse (20.05)

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