It is a story that will come to an end for French women's rugby. After 12 years as a loyal member of the French national team, both in 15s (73 caps) and sevens (23), Jessy Trémoulière declared on 12 March: "I am bringing an end to my international career". At 31 years old, she has chosen to help run the family farm in Bournoncle-Saint-Pierre in Haute-Loire along with her father and brother.
But before that, she will have one last mission: winning the Women’s Six Nations 2023, after a frustrating runners-up finish in 2022, behind Emily Scarratt's England. This week, Trémoulière was in Blagnac with 35 other players to prepare for the first round against Italy in Parma on 26 March.
2018 Women's 15s Player of the Year: Jessy Trémoulière 🇫🇷— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 18, 2022
Powered @FranceRugby to a Six Nations Grand Slam, the full-back ending the tournament as top point scorer and joint-top try scorer#WorldRugbyAwards pic.twitter.com/3OzDaMaWLB
"She has a great track record behind her. We're going to give her a good outing," said the new captain of Les Bleues, Audrey Forlani, at the launch of the Women’s Six Nations 2023 in London on 15 March. After Céline Férer, Laure Sansus, Marjorie Mayans and Safi N'Diaye, it is a new senior player who is retiring from international rugby.
"It's going to be a little bit of a loss because they stopped and they also finished with a great career. But the girls who are going to be in this group and who will build this team will give their all to replace them", said the captain.
A DIFFICULT DECISION TO MAKE
The decision not to continue the adventure in blue was not an easy one to make, as Les Bleues' playmaker has been committed to rugby since she was 16 years old, following in the footsteps of her father who also played. But at the head of a farm of nearly 300 hectares (cereals, natural grassland and clover) with 200 animals (including about 60 dairy cows), she recognises that the workload is such today – confronted with the energy crisis as well as the search for new markets – that she has to devote her time to the farm.
As proof of her commitment to the agricultural sphere, next April she will officially receive the Salon International de l'Agriculture medal awarded to those "who have given their time, energy, initiatives or ideas to the Salon in particular and to agriculture in general".
"My father is now 68 years old and he can no longer take over when I am away for a long time to join the French national team," she told Midi Olympique. " Four days, a week or two is still fine, but now I'm going to be away for three weeks with Les Bleues and that's a lot."
Having been awarded the title of World Rugby Women's Player of the Year in 2018, and then Women’s 15s Player of the Decade in 2020, Jessy has had two careers simultaneously for 12 years without fail. However, she does not intend to cut back completely, admitting that she still has "the flame for rugby". She still plans to play in yellow and blue for her club AS Romagnat.
CALLED BY JOHN EALES
A member of the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Players' Committee at the request of Australian legend John Eales, Trémoulière has left an indelible mark on women's rugby and her last five games, culminating, hopefully, in what is forecast to be a world record crowd at Twickenham on 29 April, should punctuate a rich career.
An excellent kicker with a 76 per cent rate since 2020, Trémoulière has contributed to France's two Grand Slams in 2014 and 2018, a bronze medal at Rugby World Cup 2014 and then a bronze medal with France sevens women in Rio in 2016.
Missing out on Ireland in 2017 due to injury, she did not play much at the delayed Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand (two appearances in six games, including one as a replacement), at the end of which France finished with the bronze medal. However, her contribution to the sport has been decisive, becoming one of the figures of the French women's team while showing a humility that honours her.
"Just because I've had some pretty important titles in my career doesn't mean I'm the strongest, I'm the best," she revealed not long ago to World Rugby. “That's the kind of education I’ve got. I have never thought that I have succeeded because I have my family behind me who keep my feet on the ground, even the staff of the France team, sometimes they remind me of it.
"You always must prove yourself, keep working and not take everything for granted. This is my mentality. Telling yourself that you have arrived at the top or being haughty doesn't get you anything and life can catch up with you. I have stayed myself, that's my personality."