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le rugby

October 16, 2007

'You're definitely going to wear that?' I ask, when The Man appears on Saturday afternoon wearing an England rugby shirt, just before the England v France game. 'We're going to be watching the match with French friends in a French bar and it might be, well ....just a little provocative.'
'Don't worry,' he says. 'Rugby is a gentleman's sport. It's not like football.'

No kidding. I sit quietly in a corner of Le Bar du Clain with Mathilde and Marie, unable to make sense of musclebound men pushing and shoving and pulling each other to the ground in pursuit of the ball. It's not pretty and it's not graceful. I definitely prefer football.

But The Man - the only anglais in a room full of French supporters - seems to be enjoying himself. He is engaged in an animated discussion about Sebastian 'caveman' Chabal. And far from being lynched, at one point I spot him across the bar having his photo taken with a French supporter in a tricolore afro. When the match is over, total strangers come up to shake hands and say 'bien joué.'

I am impressed by such graciousness in defeat. As he said, it's definitely not football.

comments (2)

1. Posted by Markyj on October 16, 2007 11:26 PM

Well bravo to The Man for being proud to be British - a dying breed methinks. As for lone Frenchmen in Birmingham, can't really say, BUT, here in dear old London town, in our local, we bought drinks for the disappointed French supporters among us and they were very well treated thank you.

Of course Rugby is not like some other sports, where gentlemanly manners are set aside in favour of hooligan behaviour.

Can't wait 'til the final this weekend. Come on England, bring it home again! Lol.

2. Posted by Sylvie on October 19, 2007 9:33 AM

Does that mean you'll be watching again avidly this weekend? Look forward to your next sporting update ;-)

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