National. The atypical career of Guiterembi Vickos, from the French US Football team to pro rugby

From American football to rugby, there is only one step. Do you doubt it? And yet. Despite the fact that these are two diametrically opposed sports, it is not so rare to learn that some rugby players have tried before that in their youth, the sport created in Ohio during the 1920s. And vice versa of course. One of the most prominent examples today remains Sevens star Perry Baker, a fan of American football before switching to rugby after a knee injury wiped out his NFL career. We also think of Christian Wade, former prodigy of the London Wasps, who wore the jersey of the XV de la Rose twice but also that of the British Lions. The former winger, 3rd leading scorer in Premiership history, announced that he would end his career in 2018 to start American football. This is also the case of Guiterembi Vickoscolossus right pillar of Massy (1m87 128kg) 28 years old, who first tasted the games of a sport almost unknown in France, before embarking on our dear discipline.

This is just major than the native of Toulouse takes a passion for American Football. At the time, nothing predicted a career in rugby for him ten years later: ”I started with American football when I was 18 in 2010 at the Meteors of Fontenay Sous Bois where I played for two years and then left for study sport. to the Spartans of Amiens. I played there for a year.” It is in the capital of Picardy, that Guiterembi Vickos will make a name for himself in the middle, and know the Grail of wearing the jersey of the French selection : ”I started to make the teams of France. Then, after my stay in Amiens, I returned to the Paris region where I played for a year at Flash de la Courneuve.”. Of American football, Guiterembi only keeps good memories. And for good reason. In addition to his passage and his five selections in the French team, this sport allowed him to travel, live exceptional experiences and mainly forge a character: ”American Football has brought me a lot of things. Self-confidence, leadership but also maturity. I have traveled a lot thanks to this sport. I participated in the World Cup, had the privilege of being selected twice in a world selection which takes place every year and brings together all the best players in the world to face the USA, but also the European Cup.”

A career that then seems all mapped out within American sport. And yet, Guiterembi Vickos will take a 180 degree turn, shortly after his ascent in the discipline cherished in the ”New World”. Everything then starts with a phone call. The rest, the interested party tells it: ”A friend contacted me to do the trials at the Stade Français en Espoirs. I was taken and therefore started rugby at 22.‘. And if this radical change may surprise, it almost sounded obvious for our protagonist: ”Basically, I was already very interested in rugby. I really liked American football, the atmosphere, but something was missing. I was a linebacker, I played in the second defensive line and only defended. I didn’t attack, never had the ball and I just tackled. When my friend called me, I immediately hooked, especially the atmosphere and the setting around. That’s how I started to switch from American football to rugby.”

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