Changing times of Jean-Pierre Rives

With France confirmed as hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Jane Hanks spoke to former French captain Jean-Pierre Rives, now a successful sculptor.

Sixty four-year-old Jean-Pierre Rives is a cult figure in French sport. As a flanker, he captained the national rugby team 34 times and was known for his bravery and determination on the pitch. He was nick-named the Casque d’Or or Golden Helmet due to his long, blond hair. In 1984, shoulder injuries meant he had to retire from the sport and so he turned to his second passion, art. He is now a sculptor and painter. He cuts and twists steel girders into extraordinary forms and his sculptures can be found in private and public collections throughout the world. 

He has had major exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Brussels and one in the Jardin du Luxembourg, the first time sculptures had been on show there since Auguste Rodin’s exhibition more than a century earlier. He has the highest decoration in France, the Order of the Légion d’Honneur.

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