The reason for my lack of activity on this blog for the past couple of weeks has been my absence whilst attending some of the matches in France.
It’s been a tremendously exciting three weeks having attended all four of the host nation’s pool matches in Paris, Toulouse and Marseille. The atmosphere in France has been remarkable helped along by the excellent cuisine, fine wines and good beer. Everywhere you go RWC 2007 hits you, whether at Rugby Town just opposite the Eiffel Tower or in a sleepy village down south the whole country has been gripped with rugby fever. On the playing front there is no question that the ability of some of the so-called lesser nations has been the big plus in this World Cup. The failure of Ireland and Wales to progress to the Quarter-Finals coupled with England and Scotland being pushed all the way to secure their berths has shaken the old order in the Northen Hemisphere, France’s failure to beat the Pumas in their opening match has now left them with the unenviable task of facing the tournament favourites New Zealand at the Quarter-Final stage in Cardiff on Saturday night. This has caused a great deal of re-organisation for many as hotel plans and flight/travel plans have now had to be altered to travel to Cardiff on Saturday, no rest after having travelled back from Marseille via Paris today!!! It’s a hard life but hey someone’s got to do it!!
Everywhere you go in France one figure dominates, Chabal, Sebastien Chabal, the Sale Sharks player has become an insitution in France, his presence sending the fans into gutteral chants of some neolythical caveman who roamed the caves of the Massif Centrale many thousands of years ago. Is this the man who can inspire the French to an improable victory against the All Blacks as his countrymen managed eight years ago in the un-forgettable Twickenham semi-final?
We shall see. Whatever happens this has been a great World Cup so far with capacity gates at all the stadiums.
Vive la France and Vive la coupe du monde de rugby!!!