It is the beautiful family history of the XV of France: the presence of Sipili Falatea and Yoram Moefana. Already associated under the jersey of the Union Bordeaux-Bègles, the uncle and his nephew had the happiness of both being selected for the French team to compete in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, a first in the long history of the XV of France. During the summer tour in Japan in 2022, the pillar returned to this family bond: “It is a great source of pride for us and for the whole family. We are not aware of it but we are often pointed out. when we got on the pitch, we didn’t know what to say to each other. It was a unique moment for both of us. We didn’t have the words, we just looked at each other and we understood each other. “
Who is Sipili Falatea?
Sipili Falatea was born in 1997 in the village of Leava on the island of Futuna into a family of 10 children. Like Yoram Moefana, he started rugby in the village of Fiua at the Avamafoa rugby club. Its strong potential leads it to attempt the long journey to the metropolis, 16,000 km. He was then trained in Colomiers, from 2015, where he played in his three-quarter center debut. In 2017, he joined Clermont where he played his first minutes at professional level as a pillar. He spent most of this first season with the Espoirs clermontois with whom he won the French championship in 2018. He was a Top 14 finalist in 2019 but it was from 2020 that he asserted himself in the line of before Clermont. He is then regularly summoned to the France team without playing a single match. Faced with the decline in his club playing time, he agreed to join Union Bordeaux-Bègles in 2022, after 53 Top 14 games with the Jaunards. For his first Bordeaux season, he took part in 12 matches.
What course with the XV of France?
Sipili Faletea started with the blue shirt on the Australian summer tour in 2021. He played two test matches there, before being called up again in June 2022 to face Japan this time. Called up again during the autumn tour the same year, his decisive try against South Africa at the Stade Vélodrome propelled him into the spotlight. He then appeared on all the match sheets, each time as a substitute. His physical power (116kg for 1m84) seduced the tricolor staff to finish the matches. It totals 13 selections.
What role with the XV of France?
During a press conference before France-England in March 2023, Fabien Gathié looked at Sipili Falatea’s experience with the XV of France: “Sipili gave us a lot of satisfaction. He took a long time to get into the rotation of Bordeaux. On the other hand, we have always trusted him. We have always taken him as the second or third pillar depending on what was going on. He is a young player who started as a three-quarters center in Colomiers. He is therefore in an apprenticeship. You know that this position is very difficult. He is formidable and responds in the best possible way to the challenges that are proposed.”
If he is playing in the World Cup today, his participation was compromised due to an injury contracted during the UBB semi-final against La Rochelle last June (24-13 for the Rochelais). Affected in the internal lateral ligament of the right knee, the fears of seeing the World Cup escape were present, but Falatea was able to heal in time.
The Blues will therefore be able to count on this regular “finisher” from the XV of France. He thus replaced Uini Atonio during each match of the last Six Nations Tournament. His qualities of percussion and his good melee are assets very appreciated by the staff of Fabien Galthié, in particular William Servat and Karim Ghezal, co-trainers of the conquest.