A man and his passion
Serge Betsen was born on 25 March 1974 in Kumba in Cameroon. He first arrived in France with his family when he was 9 years old. He discovered rugby when he was 12 at the Club of Clichy la Garenne.
In 1991, he left Clichy to study in Bayonne and joined the Biarritz Olympique club. He got his first cap with France on 22 March 1997 against Italy. In 2000, he took part in the first 6 Nations tournament. Nicknamed
the "Grim Reaper" or "shears" because of his famous tackles and fast starts, he is considered to be the best tackler in the World by many rugby experts and is feared by all his opponents. He was voted best player of the French championship in 2002 by l’Oscar Midi Olympique, in 2004 he is nominated by the IRB for the title of best World player.
See all my biography
True to his club for so many years, Serge has made great strides to become the best third row in the world. He prepared more than the average player. I will remember his generosity and kindness. We find this again in the applause from the public, as when he was injured in Toulouse. I had great fun playing with him. This player never has doubts, he always gives everything he’s got. He is an example for rugby. He sums up the spirit and values of rugby.
Olivier Roumat’s testimonial
French Champion in 2002 by Serge’s side with BOPB
Voir les témoignages de Fabien Galthié, Bernard Laporte ...
It was my philosophy with Biarritz Olympique, and also with the French team and at London Wasps. Throughout my career, I always made sure that people feel emotions and want to share them with others. This is how we should live our life in a club, while looking all in the same direction and supporting each other. We are in it all together to live big beautiful adventures. For example I believe that in a rugby team, each individual performance should be valued: Every effort counts first for the team.
Your action is only meaningful if there are shared emotions and a desire to excel to meet the expectations that are placed in you.
Faire le soleil*
In 2004, I opened my heart when I published "Faire le soleil", a book in which I trace my path, or how the kid from Kumba in Cameroon, became the Serge of Clichy, then the Betsen of the whole oval planet. While writing we tend to "loosen" things that we take to heart. It's also a way to thank those who helped you in your journey, who helped you discover rugby and live through the sport ... *Literally translated as “to be like the sun”, which describes a rugby tackle
17 years of happiness in Biarritz
June 2008. I received a great testimonial after my last game in Biarritz colors. This was a very moving moment. Biarritz represents 17 years of my life, about half of my existence. During the testimonial they showed me my debuts at Clichy, my family ... They gave me some very moving messages, from the club, partners, and supporters ... The whole rugby family which is my family. I left in the summer of 2008 with the hope to come back for the better, to learn and see something different. We experienced intense seasons in Biarritz. Rugby means to share intense moments, to suffer together, to give to our audience and those who helped us. To supporters, partners, friends, family, managers, to all who live and feel for rugby, we owe our efforts for what they bring to us every day.
2008 – London Wasps turn
In 2008, I gave myself an ultimate challenge with the current European Champion, the club of Lawrence Dallaglio and Raphael Ibanez: London Wasps. I felt I knew everything from my 17 years experience at Biarritz Olympique, professionally, as a top athlete, and as an individual. After Clichy, everything went very quickly ... It's a long story, a love story, I had the chance to meet with several generations of players and managers. What London Wasps gave me goes beyond anything that I could have imagined. I discovered a civilisation and a rugby culture.
« Communicating better »
Speaking about communication is a fascinating subject for me. Today, the evolution of new technologies allows for better connection between individuals and nations, and should contribute to a better understanding. But there are still many misunderstandings between people! How do we overcome these problems and ensure that a group can work in harmony, contributing to success? What are the tools required? These are key issues for the good functioning of any team, on which I reflect again and again.