Get the lowdown on the flanker who was just 21 when she first led France
Who is Gaelle Hermet: Ten things you should know about the France back-row
Tough-tackling flanker Gaelle Hermet first captained France at the age of just 21.
Ten things you should know about Gaelle Hermet
1. Gaelle Hermet was born on 12 June 1996 in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She stands at 5ft 8in (1.72m).
2. She plays her club rugby for Toulouse.
3. Hermet won her first cap for France in 2016 and was named captain of the national team in November 2017.
4. She led France’s Grand Slam-winning squad in the 2018 Six Nations.
5. In 2018 she was nominated for World Rugby’s Women’s Player of the Year award but was beaten by France team-mate Jessy Tremouliere.
6. Hermet has spoken of the importance of fans to the France team and how packed stadiums inspire the players.
“We’re filling the stadiums more and more, and we have an increasing amount of people coming to watch,” she said ahead of the 2022 Six Nations. “The atmosphere is amazing, people are happy to come and see us.
“That pushes us even more to fight on the pitch. We’re pushed by the fans and we draw strength from that. There is a lot of joy from playing in front of the French crowds.”
7. She studied psychology and occupational therapy, and has worked part-time as the latter in a care home alongside her rugby career.
8. Hermet also participated in athletics, gymnastics and swimming as a child. She told Ablock of why she chose rugby: “I have blossomed enormously in these other sports, but rugby has been a revelation.
“In athletics, I lacked this collective side. I am not a loner, I love to share the values, the conviviality of sport with other people. Rugby could only be obvious.”
9. Former France men’s captain Thierry Dusautoir is Hermet’s rugby idol.
10. In 2020, she won an ‘Oscar’ as the best women’s player in the annual Midi Olympique awards.
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