NOLA Gold’s talent has gone international! We are excited to announce that the Gold’s Jack Webster has joined ASM Clermont for the summer of 2021. With only three days’ notice, Jack flew to Clermont to be a part of the club playing in the Top 14, the top rugby league in France. ASM Clermont has been a mainstay in French rugby, having never been relegated from the top French league since their inception in 1911. Clermont has won the French Championship twice, in 2010 and 2017, and recently won their third European Rugby Champions Cup in 2017.
In January 2020, ASM Clermont acquired a minority stake in NOLA Gold Rugby. In addition to cultural exchanges, the teams will exchange players to further their development. Jack Webster is the first NOLA Gold player to be a part of this program. As one of the best and most consistent teams in French rugby, playing with ASM Clermont is a tremendous opportunity for Jack and all the Gold players who will take part in this program.
Jack has been elated with the culture of rugby in France, saying that “playing in France has been an amazing experience. The rugby culture here at ASM Clermont is unreal, and you can sense the community loves the team and rugby”.
Ryan Fitzgerald, the General Manager of NOLA Gold, is excited for Jack and the benefit his involvement will bring to the Gold. As Fitzgerald explains, he is “extremely excited for Jack to have this experience with ASM Clermont in France. Jack is a tremendous player on the rise who had a great developmental year with the Gold in 2021. Playing at a high level in the Top 14 will only accelerate Jack’s development and allow him to use his experience to compete for significant playing time in the 2022 season”.
Speaking about his time in France so far, Jack said that “my experience has been fantastic. The coaching staff has been very professional and open to help me in any way possible to make me the best player I can be in my short time here. The players have been very friendly, hospitable off the field, and hard working on the field. The ASM program has been pure class, and I am excited to see what the next three weeks have to offer”.
This partnership has benefitted both clubs as they look to continue their success in their respective leagues. For NOLA Gold, this relationship allows the club to send players to France, such as Jack Webster, to nurture their development. This is just another positive step for NOLA Gold as they enter into an exciting 2022 season!
By: Bobby Lehman
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