Full name Vincent Clerc
Born May 7, 1981, Echirolles
Current age 35 years 171 days
Major teams Toulon, Toulouse, France
Height 5 ft 10 in
Weight 198 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2007-2011||13||11||2||55||11||0||0||0||8||5||0||61.53|
|Test debut||France v South Africa at Marseille, Nov 9, 2002 match details|
|Last Test||France v Scotland at Stade de France, Mar 16, 2013 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
One of the most exciting players of the modern game, Clerc and his golden boots have dazzled defences since his arrival on the world stage. The prolific winger made his debut for Les Bleus against South Africa in 2002 and despite being relatively small in physical stature he has since gone onto cement a reputation as one of the deadliest finishers in the game.
The former U-21 international missed out on selection for the 2003 Rugby World Cup but he regained his place for the following year's Six Nations and played a key role in France's Grand Slam triumph.
France claimed the Six Nations title again in 2007 with Clerc grabbing a memorable last-gasp try in a nail-biting victory over Ireland at Croke Park. Later that year Clerc was able to wipe memories of previous Rugby World Cup disappointment as part of hosts' squad for the sport's global showpiece.
Over-looked for the opening defeat against Argentina, Clerc proved his worth in the next two matches with a hat-trick of tries against Namibia and another brace at the expense of Ireland.
However their bid for the Rugby World Cup crown was scuppered by England in the semi-finals. Clerc continued to impress in the 2008 Six Nations with five tries in France's opening two games against Scotland and Ireland.
On the domestic stage he began his career with local side Grenoble with whom he won the Pro D2 title in 2002 to secure promotion to France's top flight. The following season he switched to Toulouse and helped them to Heineken Cup glory in 2003, scoring a try in the final victory over Perpignan at Lansdowne Road.
Further Heineken Cup success followed in 2005 and he also helped Toulouse to the French Top 14 title in 2008. He was also part of the squad that were Heineken Cup runners-up in 2004 and 2008 and beaten finalists in the Top 14 final in 2003 and 2006.
Clerc was struck down by a knee ligament injury in the latter stages of the 2007-08 season ruling him out of the Heineken Cup and Top 14 Finals. As a result of a sooner-than-expected end to his career-best season, he also missed out on France's summer tour to Australia but made his club comeback in December of 2008 and returned to national colours for the 2009 tour to Australia and New Zealand.
In October 2009, he became the all-time leading try-scorer in the Heineken Cup with his 29th and 30th tries in the competition against Sale in their opening round clash in Toulouse.
Clerc featured in four of France's five matches during the 2010 Grand Slam winning Six Nations and failed to cross the try line. Having played in their following summer tour, Clerc was back in the France squad for the 2011 Six Nations and managed to grab two tries in the process. A key part of the Toulouse squad which took the 2011 Top 14 title - Clerc was named in the 30-man squad for the World Cup.
Clerc finished the tournament with five tries to his name and played a key role in their charge to the final. Going into the 2012 Six Nations, Clerc kept his place on the wing and scored in their opening match against Italy. He started the next three but left the field against England with a dislocated shoulder.
Injury misfortune struck again for Clerc ahead of the 2013 Six Nations as a thigh injury ruled him out of France's opening matches.