Jean Pierre Garuet

The Lourdes Legend

"Ah, my sending off in 1984 against the Irish… Of course I never gouged anyone! Moss Keane started the fight and John O’Driscoll took a punch, and it all kicked off. Ferrasse said to me: 'Garuche, you’re a twat, but I'll sort it. In front of les rosbifs, I am going to bollock you hard. But don’t worry, you will be with us for the tournament in NZ.’ He played his hand very well."

I tracked down Jean Pierre or ‘Garuche’ as he is affectionately known, via Pascal, the commander in chief of social activities. I turned up at his house in Pontacq near Lourdes in November 2017 where I spent a fabulous few hours. He had prepared for my arrival so the fridge was full off all the requisite French produce – foie gras, saucisson and cheese, washed down with a variety of wines. These were all good pre match nourishment, back in the day, along with a few gitanes cigarettes. He talked about players, matches, incidents, his sending off, the Irish, his mates, his adversaries and all those memories. We then spent an hour poring through the old scrap books and photos and his small museum which houses all those precious souvenirs. He is a fabulous, warm and generous man, typical of these French front row forwards.

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list to hear about the book launch dates and give you a chance to get one of the limited edition signed books by David Beresford and Sean Fitzpatrick.

We'll also let you know about new players, regions and other updates to the website.