Latvia mission a passion for new Rotherham Titans man Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier

GIVING a leg-up to a developing rugby country 1,500 miles away is all part of modern-day life for Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier.
BUSY MAN: JB Bruzulier in action for Rotherham Titans at Wharfedale. Picture GARETH SIDDONSBUSY MAN: JB Bruzulier in action for Rotherham Titans at Wharfedale. Picture GARETH SIDDONS
BUSY MAN: JB Bruzulier in action for Rotherham Titans at Wharfedale. Picture GARETH SIDDONS

​As well as being Rotherham Titans’ new scrum-half, Jean-Baptiste is also the Sevens coach for Latvia.

“I found out I was Latvian a few years ago. My mum’s real dad was Latvian,” the former Leeds and Cornish Pirates man told the Advertiser. “I went went out there and did the Sevens and won the second leg of the Championship – never heard of.

Rugby is very low key in Latvia so I’m trying to build it up and stuff.

“I go back out there in October for a few weeks. I love it. I love the coaching aspect of it and that’s something I’d like to go into.”

After a rugby journey that has also taken him to Worcester, Hartpury and to France, “JB” has plenty of knowledge to hand on to the raw Latvians.

“I’m coach of the Sevens and next year I’ll be taking the 15s as head coach,” he said. “Latvia is a country which doesn’t have a lot in terms of rugby.

“You’ve got basketball, and ice hockey is their main sport. We’ve got limited resources but what we achieved with those resources was very good so hopefully in the next couple of years we can start pushing the youngsters and promoting the sport further over there.”

Turned 30, Bruzulier is approaching the autumn of his career and he intends making the most of the playing time he’s got left.

“Rugby is part of me. It has been a big part of my life.

“To try and step away from it, I don’t know what I would do,” he said.

“Last year was complicated with me having operations so I’m just trying to get myself slowly back to where I was.”

“JB” is working for the Titans Community Foundation in between training and match days.

He added: “What attracted me to Rotherham was the culture here and the lads and the fans.

"I went to their last game last season and they had busloads. I want to be part of a club where it is family based where you can bring your kids and enjoy it.

"I haven’t got many years left, maybe one or two. I just want to enjoy the club experience.”

Jean-Baptiste and his team-mates chase a third straight win in National Two North when they host newcomers Lymm tomorrow (2pm).

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