A Rugby Life

A Rugby Volunteer's Blog

What a weekend of International Rugby!

There isn’t any live rugby to watch locally but I will be glued to the TV with a load of big games to watch.

The main event is the First Lions Test in Australia.  Not surprisingly the starting fifteen is dominated by Welshmen but I am delighted for Alex Corbisiero who I rate as the best loose-head in Europe, and for Norfolk’s Tom Youngs.  Tom and brother Ben are very grounded and when they have a weekend off they are often seen back at Holt RFC where they started playing.

The bench will have a big impact on the game as will the crowd.  The only Lions game I have ever been to was the 2nd Test in Pretoria in 2009 and the noise in the stadium that was two-thirds full of red shirts was extraordinary.

In theory I could spend the whole of Saturday watching rugby from the Southern Hemishere with New Zealand playing France, Scotland taking on Italy and South Africa vs Samoa, the last two games being played in South Africa.

The big event on Sunday is the Junior Rugby World Cup final with England U20s taking on Wales U20s.  The semi-finals on Wednesday saw Wales surprisingly overturn South Africa then England dominatte New Zealand in the first half before hanging on to book their pace in the final.  England will be favourites for the game that kicks off at 6pm but nothing can be taken for granted.

Before that game is another that has had much less publicity but for me will be equally important.  The Africa Cup Division 3 tournament starts in Ivory Coast this weekend and my homeland Nigeria take on Mauritius at 4pm on Sunday.   Nigeria is trying to make an impact on the international stage and although they haven’t won a 15-a-side game for several years, this year could be when they make their breakthrough.

Ranked 90th in the World (out of 100) Nigeria has three games against Mauritius (96th), Morocco (33rd) and Zambia (75th) and they have high hopes of securing at least two wins, and with Morocco relegated last season theye is every chance of winning all three.  I have no idea if there will be any kind of live video feed available so I may be relying on Twitter for updates.


2 responses to “What a weekend of International Rugby!

  1. Max Pocock 21 June 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Concerned that reference to food is missing from your recent reports, and that you may be wasting away. How were your moules and frites in Belgium (washed down with a Trappiste I hope!)? Will you be settling down on Saturday with a pre game sausage sandwich (Newmarket sausages of course), or do you prefer a Suffolk bacon sandwich, or will you go for a pair of Norfolk kippers?


    • Andrew 21 June 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Max, we only had two days in Brussels and just one meal where we had to fend for ourselves. We were wandering around Le Grand Place about 11pm on Saturday and although Moules et Frites was tempting we had only been sustained on a diet of various beers, dark and blonde, and needed something more substantial.
      We ended up having a huge seafood banquet with mussels, various crustaceans, salmon, snapper, seabass with a bottle of Sancerre. It seemed churlish not to have a waffle with cream and chocolate afterwards. The bill was outrageous but we were in the tourist centre.
      Probably a bacon sarnie for breakfast then there is a very good stall in Colchester market that cooks fresh curries so I think I will be scuttling there for some lunch, having hopefully celebrated a Lions win.
      I am Moscow bound next week so I will need to acclimatise to vodka and herrings which I will start doing on Sunday.
      Hope you are well and thanks for the comment. I will try to do better regarding food reporting.


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