Maxime is widely regarded as one of French rugby’s biggest rising stars and is known for his speed, amazing eye and ability to glide across the field with an effortless grace that belies his 25 years. Maxime was born in Epinal in eastern France and approached to play for Toulouse at the age of 15. Unable to quite crack his way into the first team, he was given an opportunity at Perpignan and never looked back.
Mermoz has since become one of the Top 14’s most talked-about centres and was given his first opportunity at international level against the Wallabies on July 5th, 2008. Unfortunately, Maxime’s career to date has been hampered by serious injuries to thigh, shoulder and knee. Prior to his appearance at the World Cup, Maxime had not played more than three games in a row for France, but is now beginning to cement a starting place for his national side at inside centre.
Maxime and Les Bleus will face their toughest challenge yet against the All Blacks who will have the entire nation behind them, as well as the knowledge that they have already defeated the French comfortably in the Pool stages. Still, as is so often said of France in rugby circles, they have the ability to beat anyone on their day and given that they have lost twice in the tournament so far and still find themselves in the final, Marc Lièvremont and his men may well believe this could be their year!
Can France compete with the All Blacks in the final?