La Rochelle The Atlantic Wall

I’m beginning to discover that living by the sea gives you an outlooking attitude.

The rhythm of the waves and the ebb and flow of the tides have a marvellously calming affect.

Staring out to the horizon the mirage effect of the sea reaching the sky brings out the poet in me, and my mind conjours up pictures of the French rugby folk going about their daily business, just as we do, but maybe with a touch more style.

Having just moved to East Sussex I am now actually nearer to France than London.

As I look out to sea after my morning coffee, the next landfall is La Touquet, or there abouts, and my French rugby connections feels just that little bit stronger.

Just 147 miles away from my Sussex home, in Lille, the Top 14 semi finals took place last Friday and Saturday evening.

The victors La Rochelle and Toulouse meet in Paris on Friday in the Top 14 Final. For Toulouse it will be their 28th final having won it 20 times. In stark contrast this will be Stade Rochelais first appearance in the showpiece event.

The script would dictate that La Rochelle after the heartbreak of losing the Heineken Champions Cup at Twickenham, against Toulouse, will exact revenge and return home to celebrations that will probably last all summer.

But when has rugby ever stuck to the script ? 16,000 lucky fans will find out at Stade de France in a few days time.

à bientôt


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