We still pinch ourselves to believe it. At the end of the draw ceremony for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris, a clip was broadcast by the organizers in which ten foreign internationals, for some, take up the Marseillaise at the top of their lungs. On the stage of the Palais Brongniart, theater of the ceremony, the former third row Sébastien Chabal and the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte cannot suppress a smile. The duo do not laugh but on the contrary appreciate the prowess of bringing together these unexpected performers who have the language of Shakespeare in common. A real challenge when you know the importance given to hymns. And a bet taken up hands down.
By order of entry on the scene, it is the Irishman Rory Best who makes resound the first verse soon taken up by the Toulonnais Ma’a Nonu. The ex-All-Black back on the harbor shouts in front of the RCT Toulon stadium where Félix Mayol must have appreciated. Unless the songwriter prefers the tone of voice of the South African winger Bryan Habana also passed through the Var. Then come the Scots Laidlaw and Beatie. Special mention to New Zealander Andrew Mehrtens, ex-Racing player. The former strategist of the Blacks donned the jersey of the France team and even stages himself ironing the tunic struck by the rooster. The happy Australian drills Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell who animated the third half on the side of Toulon close the ban.
Once the ceremony was over, France 2023 did not shy away from its pleasure in having achieved its ends by bringing together eleven names that weigh 900 international selections. “It took patience,” we explained to the organizing committee. Some said yes straight away like Mitchell, Giteau or Best. Others like Habana or Mehrtens sang the entire hymn. But the one who recited the Marseillaise the best is undoubtedly the Fijian Isei Colati. “Beyond the bet raised hands down, it is“ the values of sharing conveyed by this clip and rugby ”that everyone wanted to mention. Reassure everyone, the fundamentals have been respected since no English player contacted has responded favorably to the call.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr