Claude Dourthe

Article

July 5, 2022

Claude Dourthe, born November 20, 1948 in Magescq, is a French international rugby union player who played as a center from the mid-1960s to that of the 1970s. He began his career with the Landes club of the Union Sportive dacquioise. He has 33 selections for the France team between 1966 and 1975, with ten tries to his credit. Among the French back lines, he was one of the players in the two consecutive victories at the Five Nations Tournament in 1967 and 1968, with a Grand Slam at stake, as well as in the shared victory of 1973. Captain of the team three times, he also participated in six tours in the nations of the southern hemisphere. Faithful to his club throughout his career, with twelve seasons in the first team, he lost with the Dacquois in the final of the French championship in 1966, before twice winning the Yves du Manoir challenge. His son, Richard Dourthe, has a similar career path, trained at US Dax and playing in the same position, before wearing the jersey of the France team.

Biography

Youth

Claude Dourthe grew up in his native village of Magescq, in the Landes department, in southwestern France, with Yves, one of his two older brothers, as well as his childhood friends Claude Barrère and Georges Capdepuy. As a child, he studied at the municipal school of Magescq, then from the start of the 1961 school year at the general education college of Soustons. Within the latter, he regularly practices rugby in its seven-a-side format adapted to school competitions, trained by Professor Desclaux. Aligned at the center position with the minimal team, he won the Inter-regional Cup at seven. The following year, the college of Soustons won the championship of the Landes cadets at seven, winning against the Union team sports dacquoise, club of the sub-prefecture on the score of 9 to 3, with two tries scored by Dourthe. Holder of the Brevet d'études du premier cycle, he continued his studies at the start of the 1964 academic year at the École Supérieure de Dax. Frequenting players from the US Dax, he was then spotted by members of the club; against his mother's wishes, he played half-time in a meeting with the club's cadets against that of Peyrehorade sports, scoring three tries and being at the heart of the action of two others. He still wears the Dacquois jersey twice this season. With the school team of the École supérieure, he very briefly tries his hand at the position of third line wing. Received to integrate the Normal School, he integrates that of Agen in the absence of available place at that of Dax. In Lot-et-Garonne, his reputation reached the president of the Sporting Union agenais club, Pierre Lacroix, through his uncle; the president thus makes him sign a license with the agenais club. Nevertheless, the director of the Normal School of Agen, opposed to the practice of rugby, did not issue Dourthe authorization to practice this sport in a civilian club; it will thus never evolve under the colors of SU Agen. Also banned from rugby in the school environment, he practices cross country in parallel with his studies as a teacher, in competition with Charles Nieucel, future player of the SUA; he also enrolled in the sections of many team sports, mainly handball, as well as volleyball and basketball. Although he studied in Lot-et-Garonne, Dourthe remained followed by members of the US Dax; when he returned to the Landes during the Easter 1965 school holidays, he was summoned by Jean Bachelé, coach of the Cadets dacquois; he played in the quarter-finals of the French championship against CA Bègles, participating in the victory with two tries scored, then contributed to the accession of young Dacquois to the final, scoring a decisive try against CA Lannemez