Rugby. Former Pro D2 player, now in National 2, Romain is the king of espadrilles

Rugby player, deputy director of a company… Romain Chabat wears many hats. (© Romain Chabat)

A last-minute phone call and a scheduled meeting at 1:30 p.m. only postponed the interview. This is everyday life Romain Chabat (33 years). three-quarters mid to Angletin National 2 he is too Associate director of a custom sneaker company appointed Zatizz and at the top of its own communication box.

Dedicated, fun-loving but also serious, Romain Chabat looks back on his Bearn roots, which he proudly defends, on his intense rugby career and on the activities he runs parallel to it.

Béarn: where it all began

Born in Pau, he started playing rugby at the age of 7 Morlas. Romain Chabat is always well looked after by dedicated volunteers, knows the choices of the departments and is discovered by them Pau section. Rising through the ranks, he made his final season with the “elite” Espoirs of Pau. But the boy doesn’t skip the steps. The ex-Scrum half that became the center as cadets returns to the side Morlas and is playing his first season in Seniors in Federal.

“I never thought, dreamed, imagined being a professional rugby player. Living off rugby? No way. At the base I was a passionate cyclist. I picked the Pyrénées-Atlantiques selection where I played with Camille Lopez. I didn’t do the Espoirs poles in Bayonne either… Back then we preferred the big ones, which I understand.” In terms of studies, Romain Chabat completed a DUT Communication/Events in Tarbes before pursuing a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Toulouse, still in communication. Enough to almost ensure a conversion…

Angoulême, the true love story

Romain Chabat is also very attached to his lifelong friend. Sebastian Laulhe. The third line developed with him in Morlaàs, in Pau and later in Angoulême. The latter still Perigueuxcontacted him and informed him that he would join Angoulême, covenant 2, with a big project in place. “There should be a full-time team, the players could make a living from rugby, I told myself I had nothing to lose. I get there and in the first season we win our 25 games. At the end there is this incredible rise in Federal 1”. Then everything happens very quickly for the Soyaux-Angoulême club. “There were 400 people at my first game. For the climbing game we were 4000! It changed a lot of things.”

In order Sébastien Laulhé, Romain Chabat and Romain Mareuil when they joined Pro D2.
In order Sébastien Laulhé, Romain Chabat and Romain Mareuil when they joined Pro D2. (Image credit: Romain Chabat)

During the first season in the antechamber of Per D2the Charentais climbed to the quarterfinals, narrowly losing to the ogre of the championship: Nevers. Chabat and his teammates have a strong relationship on and off the pitch. The following year will be the inauguration of the Angoumoisin Club. “We didn’t miss, we beat Bourg-en-Bresse and we’re going up. It was great. In Pro D2 we were even fifth in December for the first season. We surf with a crazy dynamic!”.

I fully understand that in these moments some players who are isolated or don’t have their entourage by their side can easily burn out.

Romain ChabatThree-quarters center of Anglet

“When the mind is gone…”

In Angoulême, Romain Chabat is not just a player. He creates his communication company and manages the communication of the club in which he develops. It is also he who creates the social networks of the SA XV, which manages the pre-game posters and the programs carefully placed on the seats of the Chanzy Stadium. In terms of rugby, physical disruptions follow one another as the club battles battle in Pro D2.

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“My partner, my family and my job kept me afloat. I fully understand that some players who are isolated or don’t have their entourage by their side can burn out very easily in those moments. Especially for guys like me who work a lot mentally, emotionally, emotionally… When the mental is gone it immediately gets complicated…”. Despite an optional year of contract, Romain Chabat leaves Soyaux-Angoulême by mutual agreement with the management and embarks on a new adventure.

Anglet: the perfect place to develop your activities

The purple and white jersey is now neatly in the dressing room. A little further south, Romain Chabat gets a call from Club Anglet in the Basque Country. “It’s a family club where everyone is amateur and ambitious at their own level. I chose the wonderful living environment, but also the family balance and above all it was the time to develop my professional activities. Anglet allowed me to always have one foot in my passion at a very good level, it freed me from this pressure to get results, from the media pressure, it gave me time. My days are busy, but I’ve really found the balance between work and passion. At night I can cut rugby and forget everything.”

Romain Chabat has been playing for the “Angloys” since 2018, and his best friend Sébastien Laulhé joins them shortly afterwards. A few weeks ago, in May 2022, his team could have entered the National 2 but was defeated by the Arcachon Bay (Promotion finally acquired after leaving the club). At 33, the three-quarters center is feeling “good” and continues to have fun on the turf.

Associate director of a custom sneaker company

Work, state of mind and human relationships, these are the three keywords of the Béarnais. Anyone who did not see themselves as a professional rugby player when they were young knows the term work. “Before I arrived in Angoulême I was working. I knew what real life was like, having a boss, making a living. I haven’t fallen out of my little dream. It is essential for young people, the place of professional rugby is a privileged place. It’s a passion that can end very quickly. I encourage them to prepare for the aftermath and most importantly, enjoy it.”

The young thirty year old then met a former classmate from the DUT in Tarbes. The latter explains to him that he wants to start his company of personalized espadrilles and asks Chabat to offer them to his Anglet club. “I’ll tell him of course! I will propose to Anglet, but also to Angoulême, Morlaàs and then Pau! And so we launched the box. Zatizzthe company based in the Basque Country and purely local, offers espadrilles for all tastes, both for individuals and for clubs, clubs or events.

Romain Chabat as France Bleu commentator.
Romain Chabat for comments. (© Romain Chabat)

“I feel if you ever stop working and waiting, you’ll come up with nothing. I’ve always been demanding, work is the basis. If you want to negotiate contracts in the corporate world, the job will allow you to do so. You need a state of mind, you need to be impeccable. You can’t be friends with everyone, but you should never close doors. Human relationships are the basis of everything. I love to share and pass it on,” he supportsRugby News.

Espadrilles export well! L’Olympic Marseillethe FC Nantes or the recent champions of top 14the MHR, have their sneakers. Romain Chabat, who has already gained experience as a radio commentator via his communication box, has been presenting a pre-match program for the Lannemezan club (Fédérale 1) since this year. Not ready to stop playing rugby, the Béarnais continues to have a busy schedule enjoying quality time with his partner Amélie and their little Julia, 4 years old.

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