Monday, August 27, 2007

Rugby World Cup

I can't imagine the place or circumstances in which this charming photo was taken. In any case, there won't be any immediate conflict between the two supporters, because Australia and France are starting in different pools.

On the elegant official website [display], there's a countdown to the start of the opening match on 7 September, at Saint-Denis on the edge of Paris.

In the neighboring village of Pont-en-Royans, rugby is a popular sport. The village even has a team, which competes in local competitions. The main village café, called the Picard, is preparing for the forthcoming World Cup matches. The owner, my friend Jean-Noël, has installed big TV screens on his roadside patio, and crowds will no doubt be gathering there to watch the broadcasts. Everybody recalls the tremendous fervor in France associated with the World Soccer Cup, staged and finally won by France, nearly a decade ago, and people are naturally wondering whether things might happen in a similar fashion for the rugby. We'll see.

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