The remarkable rise of France's Louis Bielle-Biarrey - from senior debut in January 2022 to World Cup squad member in August 2023

Louis Bielle-Biarrey should have gone to the 2023 World Rugby U20 Championship with France in July.

But France head coach Fabien Galthie insisted he – and fellow age-grade prodigy Emilien Gailleton – should train with the senior men’s squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Now, after just three senior international appearances, all in summer 2023, Bielle-Biarrey is off to the World Cup. But who is the young flier, who has gone from senior debut to World Cup squad member in 18 months?

Related: France Rugby World Cup squad 2023

Ten things about Louis Bielle-Biarrey

  1. Louis Bielle-Biarrey was born in La Tronche, not far from Grenoble in south-east France, on June 19, 2003. 
  2. His first experience of rugby was with local amateur club Rugby Club de Seyssins. He played as a fly-half. But he switched to a back-three role when he joined Grenoble, aged 13, in 2016.
  3. He’s not the biggest back-three player you’ll see, standing 1.84m tall and tipping the scales at around 80kg, according to the Bordeaux website.
  4. He made his France under-20 debut against Italy in the 2021 Six Nations. He played three times for Les Bleuets in the tournament, before joining Bordeaux on a two-year academy contract. A year later he extended his stay to 2025.
  5. Scarlets fans will remember his senior debut for Bordeaux, at the age of 18. He scored a hat-trick against them in a Champions Cup match on January 16, 2022, and was named Player of the Match.But club bosses still considered he wasn’t ready for the travails of the Top 14. “On his first outings, we felt he was a player who wasn’t necessarily very comfortable in the tackle,” then-coach Frederic Charrier told French regional newspaper Sud Ouest.

    Related: Watch: Brainy Bordeaux score smart try from quick throw

  6. Bielle-Biarrey missed the 2023 under-20 Six Nations because he was called up for the first time to the extended training squad for the senior tournament.
  7. But he had to wait until August 2023 to make his senior debut, against Scotland in Edinburgh. He scored one try and was involved in another, in a 25-21 defeat.Related: Phenomenal France try stuns Scotland
  8. He learned of his call-up to France’s extended 42-player World Cup training camps the day after his 20th birthday. France team manager Raphael Ibanez gave him the news over the phone.
  9. He has scored 10 tries in 34 senior outings for club and country, including one for France Barbarians, and a further six tries in 10 France Under-20 matches.
  10. After three outings for the senior France side in World Cup warm-up matches against Scotland (twice) and Fiji, Fabien Galthie selected him for the 33-player squad. He is the youngest player ever called up to a France World Cup.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.