Chabal mania worth 1.5 M Euros a year

France’s bearded man-mountain Sebastien Chabal, one of the most recognisable figures in world rugby, has tripled his annual salary to 1.5m euros since shooting to fame a year and a half ago, l’Equipe magazine reported.

The impact on the sport made by this marketing phenomen, who is in the France squad for the Six Nations championship, opening against Ireland on February 7, is unique in rugby, the paper claimed.

The 31-year-old, known as ‘the Caveman’ for his long hair, thick beard and impressive physical presence, won over a legion of admirers at the 2007 World Cup. He has 42 caps to his name and has played for English Premiership club Sale since 2004.

Measuring 1.92m (6ft 4in) tall, weighing 120kg (265lb or 18st 13lb) for just eight percent body fat, Chabal commands respect.

Chabal told l’Equipe his rise to fame was helped by success coming late in his career.

“Fame came suddenly in October 2007, which was relatively late in my career,” Chabal said. “I was nearly 30 years old and was sufficiently mature to handle it all.

“Financial backing from sponsorships starting arriving about two months after the media impact.”

The backers were numerous meaning his off-field activities now earn him twice as much as the half a million euros a year paid to him by his club Sale.

Anecdotes about how his life has changed include incidents in his duties at model shoots and how his imposing figure can strike fear into some.

He described one of his attempts at modelling as not coming at all easy.

“I didn’t instantly manage what people wanted me to do,” Chabal said of one photo-shoot.

“When you are asked to laugh, it’s not easy. I find it easier to look nasty or aggressive than to smile.”

Carine Rossigneux, who deals with his contracts, explained his schedule.

“Each publicity campaign does not need more than one photo-shoot a year,” Rossigneux said.

“Added to that are three days of public relations. Sebastien needs to spend about one month a year in activities for his sponsors.”

One month’s work for two thirds of Chabal’s annual income looks a good return though he said it was not all plain sailing.

“When I am in Paris, my days are really busy,” he said.

“I don’t like it when people add things at the last moment because that can make me mad though it never happens.”

Chabal once inadvertantly struck fear into the heart of a four-year old girl who apparently confused him for an ogre.

“Don’t worry, he’s the brother of Father Christmas,” an assistant reassured her.

The fearful girl scurried behind her mother who said with a smile: “You shouldn’t have said that. She’s scared of Father Christmas.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.