Letter from Brussels – First impressions
15 June 2013
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I’ve come over to Brussels with my regular travelling companion Brian to support England Counties when they play Belgium tomorrow afternoon. We watched them play in Uganda last year so as it was just a two hour trip on the Eurostar it was a good opportunity to see them again. My colleague Danny Hodgson is another African tourist who is also coming along to support.
We arrived at 1pm (12 noon BST) and it was a short taxi ride to the Hotel Renaissance Bruxelles which by coincidence is where the England Counties have been staying for the past week. We bumped into a few of them and I asked them how the trip had been and they were very polite, but clearly the Brussels nightlife wasn’t of the level they were used to in the UK. I definitely got the impression that they were tremendously honoured to represent England abroad but they won’t be too disappointed to be going home on Monday.
That said, the players that I have spoken to have been very respectful about their hosts and appear to be good ambassadors for England Rugby. I hope to write more about what they have been doing on tour in a future article.
We went for a wander around the immediate area and went to the European Parliament buildings which are just five minutes away. Being a Saturday nothing was open but as we crossed Place du Luxembourg we saw Fat Boys Bar & Grill – could we have stumbled across a Rugby Bar two minutes away from our hotel? Sure enough, when we went inside we saw a bunch of guys from Northampton Old Scouts RFC in their rugby shirts and two Kiwis behind the bar. On the numerous TVs the South Africa v Scotland game was showing and the England Counties squad had already said they would all be in to watch the Argentina v England game tonight.
It looks like my evening is sorted out so I’ll sign off and post another article tomorrow or Monday,
England play Belgium at 2pm (1pm BST) on Sunday and as long as there is a signal I will tweet updates during the game which will automatically post on my Facebook page too.