Posted by: Sarriebone (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2018 14:01

Interesting article about his return to play for Sarries:

"France and Saracens hooker Christopher Tolofua has taken to social to explain the circumstances that lead him leaving the squad just days before their opening Natwest 6 Nations match against Ireland.
As it transpires, an injury to his spine could mean that he might never play for France again.

The 24-year-old revealed that French medical staff examined his back, and found problems with his spine. As a result, they have classified the condition as a G3 in severity – a technical classification which rules him out of playing professional rugby for France.

Despite the injury, Tolofua stated (writing in French): “However, I would like to reassure everyone. I am not particularly in danger today. To tell you the truth, after these few months at the Saracens and a really intense background work, I’m at a physical fitness level that I’ve never had before, and feel absolutely no pain.”

What’s more, it looks like he will continue playing rugby for Saracens.
“I went back to England where I was taken immediately by the medical staff of the Saracens, who worked on the elements provided by the staff of Fédération Française de Rugby and also gave me additional exams. I then met an independent English specialist to get a second opinion.”

The English specialist gave him the green light to return to play ‘without a shadow of a doubt’. The father of two said he took the situation extremely seriously and that his children ‘needed a healthy dad’.

The 6ft, 117kg front-rower now wants to have his G3 classification lifted in France so he can represent his country once again.

“My priority is to take the necessary steps to return to the French regulations as soon as possible. I’m very well surrounded by my family, the club and my agency. The staff of the French team also make available every time I need them, and I thank them. I would also like to thank you for the hundreds of messages of support I have received all over the social networks.”

Re: Tolufua
Posted by: Huxley (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2018 14:06

Very interesting, I believe Figallo signed for us for the same reason. It’s strange that it seems less of a concern in the Prem than France.

Re: Tolufua
Posted by: Sara'sman (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2018 15:09

Thanks for posting Sb - a very interesting read. There must be concern at the conflicting medical diagnoses for him and Figallo, particularly since the French thinking is so serious when compared to their attitude towards concussion,

I watched Tolofua during the warm up. He arrived very early, played at drop goals for a few minutes, then the cross bar practice routine. Very unimpressed! He neither took it seriously nor achieved much success, throwing from the same spot each time, same velocity/trajectory, usually missing by some distance, His touchline practice throw routine later with Spurling was equally poor - distance, direction and trajectory. We benefitted from numerous decisions regarding straight throws during the match (Budgies did with a few as well) perhaps understandable given the wind. But I see no sign that his throwing is improving and too little of him seeking to master this weakness.

He was very good around the park, particularly in defence where he looked more mobile than earlier in the season and won many collisions. I'd like to see both him and Skelton running onto the ball from deeper at times. But if he can improve the accuracy and variety of his throwing he'll be a very useful but different replacement for Brits.

Re: Tolufua
Posted by: The Bard (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2018 17:51

Delighted that we’ve got him back as he is very dynamic in open play. Throwing was ok apart from one when we were 5m our in the first half which almost missed both sets of forwards. A long way from international standard at line out time.

Re: Tolufua
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2018 20:51

No doubt his lineout is a work in progress but also no doubt that it's improved since he has joined us. I hope he carries on working on it as it is likely to be the only bar to him playing lots of games for us. Also perhaps worth noting that if he was already a lineout maestro in addition to all the other things he offers he would have been on many more teams radars and we perhaps wouldn't have secured his services?

In related news though Skelton continues his progress in the right direction.

Re: Tolufua
Posted by: RustySword (IP Logged)
Date: 11 February, 2018 21:44

Never ceases to amaze me how egregiously armchair coaches on the interweb are prepared to second-guess the professional coaching team that brought us two European championships and three Premierships.

Yes Christol's lineout throwing needs some work. And yes he is a beast around the park.

I remember another Saracens hooker who was lambasted, nay destroyed, on this very forum for his rubbish throwing when he joined us. He was quite useful around the park too. Anyone care to guess of whom I speak?

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