Nearly three years after helping RC Toulon become the first club to win the European Cup three seasons in a row, former EPCR European Player of the Year Steffon Armitage admits that he has yet to fully take on board the TOP 14 side’s stunning achievement.
The 32-year-old was a key cog in the in the back row who drove Toulon to victories in the 2013 and 2015 finals against ASM Clermont Auvergne in Dublin and Twickenham respectively, as well as the 2014 decider against Saracens in Cardiff.
However, when discussing the historic treble at Pau’s media day recently in the build-up to the forthcoming Challenge Cup quarter-finals, he said: “I still don’t think it’s really sunk in to be honest. People talk about it, but it’s just a weird feeling.
“I’ve got all the medals and stuff at home, and I’ve actually packed them away in the garage, because in a way I want to look back on it later on.
“It is a big deal though, because I’ve enjoyed every minute of that and got to play with some amazing players, players I looked up [to] when I was younger. Those are memories that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I’ll never forget it.”
? Steffon Armitage reflects on @RCTofficiel‘s past success and the memories of those triumphs.
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) March 30, 2018
Although Armitage is currently involved in the Challenge Cup, he is thrilled that 52 of his 66 European appearances have been in the European Cup with first London Irish and then Toulon.
“Personally, I think it’s a great thing to be involved in,” he commented. “You’re playing against the best teams in Europe and it’s a great way to prove yourself – to show how much you’ve progressed and what you need to do to become better.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world and putting myself up against those guys in the Champions Cup has actually made me the player I am today.
“I’ve got a motto: if someone says someone’s better than me, I’m going to do my best for them to say that I’m better. So that’s helped me through the Champions Cup, knowing that I’ve got to work a little bit harder to become better.”