Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Everybody is crazy about rugby

rugby scene aviron bayonnaisLooking at a map of France and the rugby clubs, you see a big concentration of clubs in the southwest corner. For some reason, rugby is the thing to do here! An heritage from our English neighbours on the other side.... Our little village with 2000 inhabitants has a rugby field. Of course. Like all the little villages around. Rugby is by definition a very masculin sport. No protections,  this is a man-to-man, fist-to-fist sport. When nearby village teams meet during a tournamnent, the supporters go wild. And then they just as easily go and have drinks together in what is called la troisième mi-temps, the third part of the game. No hooligans here, but a lot of hearty laughs and tinkering of glasses. A very good symbol for the southwest culture.

rugby mascotte aviron bayonnais
You can go watch a game anyplace really, but the best spot is said to be Bayonne. The basques absolutely love rugby. If their home team Aviron Bayonnais is playing, there will surely be a huge atmosphere during the game. Not to mention if they meet their top rival, the Biarritz team BO. Real supporters buy a subscription for tickets so they are sure to get seats for every game. Subscriptions for the best seats are hard to get to, they are passed on from fathers to their sons... The name of the Bayonne team is a bit weird too, because Aviron means rowing, as in rowing a boat!

Here you can watch a video that shows how enthusiastic the audience is. The funny looking creature on top of a car is a pottok, a kind of mountain horse, and it is also the mascot for the Bayonne team. They sing the team song Aviron Bayonnais..... can you imagine how great it would be to be there?

After a game in Bayonne everybody goes to the team restaurant, Aviron Bayonnais. Food is excellent, but the best part is watching all these tall, muscular men and listening to their strong voices singing basque traditional songs! The team colors are white and blue, good to know if you want to show your support. After dinner many players and supporters go to the bar Le Saloon, where the party goes on for hours.

rugby man posing nude calender
Talking about rugby I have to mention a very popular calender with rugby players. Dieux du Stade, Gods of the Field. It made instant success when it was published in 2001, featuring lightly dressed or even naked rugby players, and has since then become an institution.

Official site Rugby Club Aviron Bayonnais, where you can buy tickets for the games. Or at or . You can buy the calender Dieux du Stade at . Restaurant Brasserie Aviron Bayonnais phone 05 59 58 27 27. Open most days except Wednesday evening and Sunday all day. Address 1, rue Harry Owen Roe, Bayonne. Bar Le Saloon phone 05 59 57 75 18, address 2, rue Paul Pras, Bayonne. Open Monday to Saturday 18-03H. Picture Dieux du Stade Wikipedia. Map rugby clubs in France

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Please say hello! It is so nice to see if somebody has read a post!

Related Posts with Thumbnails