Not many people know this about the former French captain Thierry Dusautoir, but he was raised by bears.
This hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the greatest flankers the game has ever seen, but it has meant a challenging journey of self-discovery in which he has had to forego his previous life to adopt the confined existence of human society.
In the early stages of his rugby career, Dusautoir refused to wear clothes and instead of releasing after the tackle, he would rip all his opponents limbs off and then proceed to eat their liver. At times washed down with a nice Chianti. His interpretation of a maul was also at times…suspect.
As you can imagine, he spent more time in the sin-bin than on the playing field, but with support from his bear family (in particular his Uncle Joe – see pic below) and the encouragement of his trainer – he overcame his primal urges to produce some truly great rugby and become IRB Player of the Year in 2011.
Now back from injury, he returns to the team in today’s 6 Nations clash against Italy, in which France will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their shock defeat two years ago – and you can bet Dusautoir will be pawing the ground in anticipation.