Gaston was born in April 1926 in Millas and began his rugby life with the
local AS Millas XV before signing for XIII Catalan.
He won 19 international caps, beginning with the game against England in
1946, in which he landed 3 goals (one a drop), and ending with the Other Nationalities fixture
in 1951. Comes was a stand-out success on the 1951 tour, playing in all 4 Tests and scoring in
the 3rd Test triumph against the Aussies.
A café proprietor, he stood 1.73m and weighed 75kg. He was an explosive
centre or full-back and one of a kind. With him, all things were possible and no match could be
counted lost as long as he could leave opponents trailing behind him. The finest exponent of the
side-step in the French game and possessing a bewildering dummy, he was also an uncompromising
tackler. His handling was deft and sure, despite having the little finger of his right hand
amputated after an accident at work.
One rainy afternoon in Bordeaux, on his first international appearance
against England, France were losing 0-3 and just couldn’t find a way through the visitors’ stern
defence. Full-time was looming. Gaston got possession and beat man after man until he got to the
full-back, Martin Ryan. With winger Joanblancq completely unmarked outside him and a try certain,
he tried one step too many, slipped and fell over. “Sorry, I was really enjoying myself!” he
quipped to the furious winger who certainly didn’t see the funny side. This inclination to a
little bit of confusion on attack persisted throughout his career, but nevertheless he was said
to be, “As brilliant as a sword blade.” When he broke, it seemed a try was certain, but the
criticism can be levelled that he lacked judgement over when to time that final pass. Going on
the 1951 tour was his dream and he frequently asserted his determination to make the team. He
Later, he moved to Roanne where he played alongside fellow Catalans, Jo
Crespo and Elie Brousse. Such was the respect and affection felt for him, the town of Tautavel
dedicated the “Salle Gaston Comes – World Champion” to his memory in the Espace Jo Maso.