Ellis Rugby Serge Betsen Podcast Episode 7 with Special Guest Serge Betsen former Biarritz Olympique, London Wasps and France Rugby Union International player. He won the Yves-du-Manoir Challenge and the Bouclier de Brennus with his club Biarritz. At international level he won four Six Nations tournaments in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. This included two Grand Slams in 2002 and 2004.

The seventh episode of the Ellis Rugby Podcast. Ellis Rugby Founder Kevin Ellis interviews the outstanding Serge Betsen.

Ellis Rugby Serge Betsen Career in Rugby Union

Serge was one of the most outstanding flank forwards to play for France. He made 63 appearances for his country over a ten year period, and was a member of four teams who won the Six Nations tournament in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. This included two Grand Slams in 2002 and 2004.

He played in two Rugby World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and made 172 appearances for his club Olympique Biarritz and a further 72 appearances for London Wasps.

Early years in Cameroon.

Serge Betsen was born in Kumba in Cameroon and his family moved to the city of Yaoundé.

At nine years old, he moved to France with his mother and six siblings, settling in the Clichy suburb of
Paris. He played his first competitive rugby for the local Clichy based Club Sportif, before joining the southern giants Biarritz when he was just 17.

Serge Betsen International Debut

Betsen made his first appearance for France aged 23 in 1997, as a replacement against Italy in the 40 points to 34 defeat in Grenoble. But, he wasn’t selected again for his country until the Six Nations Championship of 2000. He spent the next season as an impact player, starting on the substitutes bench. Finally he was selected in the starting line-up and starred in France’s 2001 victories over South Africa, Australia and Fiji.
In the 2002 Six Nations. Betsen’s finest moment came during the the match against England, when his relentless man-marking of Jonny Wilkinson eventually resulted in the fly-half’s replacement and paved the way for a 20–15 victory. France won the Grand Slam by defeating Ireland in the final game 44-5.

Rugby Union World Cup 2003

Serge Betsen played in the RWC 2003 where they reached the Semi-Final only to lose to the ultimate competition winners England by 24 points to 7. He scored the only try for France, but was also Yellow Carded for a challenge on Johnny Wilkinson.

2004 Six Nations Grand Slam

The French team bounced back from their disappointing RWC exit to register an exceptional Six Nations in 2004 when they once again gained a Grand Slam. They defeated Ireland 35-17, Italy 25-0, Wales 29-22, Scotland 31-0 and England 24-21.

Rugby Union World Cup 2007

France famously defeated the All Blacks in Cardiff in the Quarter Finals of the tournament. They met England again in the semi-final with Betsen playing in the back row along with Thierry Dusautoir and Julien Bonnaire. But, it was England who came out on top 14 points to 9.

Ellis Rugby Serge Betsen – Retirement from Rugby

On 16 January 2008 Betsen announced that he was retiring from international rugby with immediate effect.
And on 11 May 2008, it was revealed he was signing for London Wasps. Betsen made 72 appearances for Wasps and left the club in June 2011. He announced his retirement from rugby at his “Jubilee” game in Biarritz on 6 June 2012.
Since his retirement, Serge has carved out an excellent Broadcasting career. In addition he created the Charity the Serge Betsen Academy in 2004 which aims to help underprivileged children in Cameroon, his native country. And he also runs ‘Serge Betsen Consulting’ which focuses on personal performance, well-being and leadership in business.

Ellis Rugby Serge Betsen Podcast

It is a fascinating listen. Serge talks about his early life in Cameroon and the changes following his move to Paris. He covers his career including the highs of Six Nations Grand Slam victories in 2002 and 2004. And the lows, including the two Rugby World Cup Semi Final defeats against England in 2003 and 2007.
He doesn’t shy away from any issues, covers his own faults and the changes he had to make to his game, the Yellow Card in 2003 at the hands of Johnny Wilkinson. Interesting listen for players, coaches and fans of the game of Rugby Union.

To Listen to the Podcast – CLICK HERE

Ellis Rugby also offer a great vintage France International T-Shirt, Polo or Rugby Shirt.