At just 25 years of age, Jonathan Hivernat has been groomed to become the key man for France in wheelchair rugby for many years to come.
Hivernat was given the captaincy at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and led the largely inexperienced French side to a seventh place finish, taking down Brazil in its final game of the tournament.
With veteran high-pointer Riyadh Sallem at the twilight of his career, Hivernat is vital the French team’s chances of winning matches on the world stage.
Hivernat was instrumental in booking his side a place at Rio 2016 and was named the best 3.0 player of the last chance qualification tournament in Paris earlier that year.
He played big minutes throughout the tournament at Rio 2016, and, while the results didn’t quite go the way the team would have liked, the French were happy to get plenty of experience on the biggest stage in the sport.
At the 2015 IWRF European Championships in Finland, France pushed Great Britain right to the final seconds and were only beaten by one point, but its defeat to eventual silver medallists Sweden saw them miss the knockout stages.
Strong wins against Belgium, 54-45, and Ireland, 63-54, saw them finish fifth overall, with Hivernat vital at both ends of the court.