Top 14 – Luke Tagi, Bayonne Golden Pillar

Luke Tagi, who arrived in the Basque Country this season, surprises with his strength and offensive qualities when he has the opportunity to bring the ball to life in Bayonne’s attack.

At six feet tall and weighing one hundred and thirty pounds, Luke Tagi has the classic frame of a front line player. It was in the position of the right pillar that he played a series of matches from the beginning of December and made his first appearance with the sky and white jersey. But the former Stade français player (2019 – 2021) is not a pillar like the others.
He has a certain attacking flair to him and his skill with the ball in hand reminds us that Tagi is first and foremost a Fijian who loves the game.He has the ability to play in front of the defense, in defense, he tries to keep the ball alive as much as possible. In today’s rugby, when we have the ability to find continuity through certain players, it is better for the team“, appreciates him manager Grégory Patat.

Solid, like Tatafu

Offloading specialist, his favorite gesture in rugby, Tagi (26 years old) “extraordinary hands for forward play“, emphasizes Patat. However, he remains a pillar whose primary mission is to dominate his opponent in close combat. “Various observers thought he lacked level in the sector, but I think he puts a lot of people at easecontinues the technician. We have never seen him in Top 14 difficulty. He is powerful. He is a player who is really attracted to the game, he likes to make quick scrums. He tends to quickly want to dominate his counterpart. He needs to work harder and be more patient..”

The Fijian international (14 caps) hurts on impact and impresses when he knocks opponents down. However, they must progress in their ability to repeat the effort over time. “I expect more volume in his game. Around 45 or 50, we feel that it has a drop in activity on its side. I wish he had the ability to rank his tasks over a longer period of time” explains Grégory Patat, who wants the other right-hander, Tevita Tatafu, is making the same progress.
Both players are similar in style of play and also have unusual histories. They met in high school and Tagi was Tatafu’s teacher. “They have an extraordinary relationship, Patat points out. The two are together and challenge each other every day. Luke? He is reserved, but sunny compared to the group.”

First appearance in the Top 14 with rowing

Patat is now overpowered and is pleased to have under his command, former Provence rugby player (2021–2023). Gersois knows that with Tagi and Tatafu he has “two monsters” in its workforce. A few years earlier, however, the Fijian did not leave the best impression on the technician who was then in charge of La Rochelle’s attackers. “I saw him for the first time at the Stade Français. He took a red one for a loose asshe says. He didn’t give me a good image, but I kept watching him in the Pro D2. I found that his appearances in the scrum were much more regular than at the Stade français. I also liked his activity, movement.”

Its origin in Bayonnais rowing, where he put the bags he held back a bit after the World Cup as he came back with a hamstring injury from the World Cup. “It was frustrating“, admits Patat. For obvious reasons of automatism and prompting, it was Tatafu who started the important negotiations, to the right of the scrum. “I like to start with Tevita and end with Luke. With a slightly less engaged or tired defense, Luke can give us continuity and perforation in our attacks“, the manager justifies. However, the situation will be different on Saturday. Tagi will start the Top 14 match for the first time in the Veslování jersey on the Ernesto Wallon lawn.

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