It swings for Arthur Mourgue

Revealing the 2021 season of the Catalans Dragons, who returned to competition after suffering a serious ankle injury, used his unavailability to work on some shortcomings under the watchful eye of a golf coaching father who specializes in mentalizing the athlete.

The wait lasted more than three months. An eternity. Seriously injured his left ankle, torn ligaments, on January 20, the Dragons’ young opener, the revelation of the 2021 season, chewed his bit for a quarter before returning to competition in April … And golf, a passion he inherited from him has father, a former mental coach for French professional golfers.

The greens of the Manville golf course, at the foot of Les Baux-de-Provence, are a haven of peace. Here we met him, just before his injury, with the Alpilles in the background silhouetted against a clear sky, helping to better understand why the decor inspired generations of Impressionists. Arthur Mourgue loves coming to this corner of Provence to recharge his batteries. He expresses undeniable golf talents.

With a balanced gesture, feet planted firmly on the turf, the Catalans Dragons opener had carved precise, powerful long-range swings. Under the eyes of Stéphane, his father, and Jean-Marc Bourret, the Mourgues’ cousin by marriage (1), a great golf enthusiast. Arthur’s father has the keen eye of the professional golf instructor that he is. He rarely intervenes, except to correct from time to time a too open wrist, poorly positioned feet, a poorly controlled gesture. Stéphane Mourgue appreciates the sound technology.

It helps him better understand where Arthur is in terms of his concentration, his technical accuracy, his physical condition. “Through his maturity in rugby, Arthur has progressed in his golfhe says. He has a better command of the period and the fundamentals. He plays very well without playing much!” A real compliment from this atypical coach, who has never touched an oval ball in his life, but who has been mentally training French golf teams for ten years using his own technique (see box). “It wasn’t me who pushed Arthur into rugby, it was his cousin Louis Jouffret”assures Stephane Mourgue.

“Thanks to Cousin Louis and Uncle Christophe…”

Louis, player from Halifax, is the son of Christophe, former general manager of the Catalans Dragons. “When he was 6 years oldsays Stephane, Arthur often played with his cousin Louis who lived near us in Barbentane. He took these idiots… Normal, Louis is four years older than him! I said to Arthur: “You just have to leave him… You just have to play with him…” But Arthur, after some sobs, replied: “No, I’m going back!” We can say that it is thanks to Cousin Louis and Uncle Christophe that Arthur played rugby! Me, what I wanted above all is that he practice a sport. I figured golf would appeal to him as he dated a lot of pro players who came to the house often. He made his choice…”

The rest is less painful for little Arthur. In Barbentane to the Minims, then at SO Avignon from the Cadets, he shapes his technique, sharpens his passion. Cousin Louis has left to play in England, Uncle Christophe is going to Perpignan but Arthur is having a blast with his group of Vaucluse friends. “We formed a great team of friends at Barbentanehe remembers. Jean-Marie Beuchat trained us. That friendship made me love rugby even more…”

Everything will go very quickly. The Hope Center in Salon-de-Provence. The Dragons, 2016. “I was in full trainingremembers Arthur. Patrice Rodriguez at Salon and then Thierry Dumaine at Perpignan helped me progress. Thierry made me touch the very high level. I improved my qualities, vision of the game, support. I’ve always liked one-on-one challenges…” Maybe to banish the memory of the lost duels against Louis… “As a kid, I loved games where you had to dodge each other to avoid getting caught: the sparrowhawk… Catch me if you can… I loved being able to eliminate whoever was in front of me…” No wonder his childhood rugby league idols are Rob Burrow and Jason Robinson. “Today I love the attitude of Shaun Johnson, it looks like he’s dancing when he plays. Or Kalyn Ponga, Newcastle Knights.” In Perpignan he follows in the footsteps of Thomas Bosc: “I liked his mentality as a team captain, his success against the post too.”

Revealing the 2021 season

Over time and through work, Arthur Mourgue has shaped the player he is, watched from the corner of the eye by Stéphane, who is never far away or short of advice. “We text each othersays the latter. I can only help him with behavior and attitude. For the rest, it’s the fact that he hangs out with great players that makes him develop and mature.” The Maloneys, Tomkins, supported the dragons’ great hope, “They pulled me up!”. Steve McNamara trusted him. “He gave young players a chance underlines Arthur. And helped me create the game that suits me.”

The Gilbert-Brutus audience fell in love with Arthur, his little protégé who does not hesitate to replace Maloney yesterday or Tomkins today in the kicking game with a gesture inherited from golf. “There are many similarities between a scorer and a golferassures Arthur. Technically, psychologically. You have to mentalize a lot.” Its pendulum movement just before the shot comes from the golfer’s gesture. “His Golf Routine”as Stéphane describes it.

“Cry a good time…”

Disappointment at losing the Old Trafford final had been digested, Arthur Mourgue was ready to embrace his new status… Until that training session on January 20th when he heard his left ankle cracking. His progress suffers a first halt. “There’s never a good time to get hurt.admits the child of Barbentane. That forced absence will have allowed me one thing, to work on areas of the game where I had to improve, the physical, I’ve gained two kilos, the passing. Every day I tried to improve these points with my fitness trainer Mathias Pala and convalescent players. Prior to his injury, Arthur Mourgue had signed with the Dragons for two seasons. Now he is ready to resume the thread of a promising career with the appetite of a 23-year-old young man, with projects on his mind: rediscovering the happiness of a Super League final and challenging Thomas Bosc on the greens of Falgos ! Stéphane won’t be far away… “He’s been with me since I was littlehe said. He’s my father, my mental coach, my friend… The first thing he said to me after my injury? cry well Remove your frustration, don’t suffer from events. He was active during my rehabilitation. It helped me…” It will still help her to complete the challenges ahead. Find your level of 2021. Win titles with the Dragons. Later Australia and the NRL would be a challenge to match his talent. In the meantime, space to swing on the Gilbert-Brutus lawn!

(1) Andrée, Arthur’s maternal grandmother, is a first cousin of Irénée Carrère, father of Geneviève Bourret, former international of the Catalan XIII.

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