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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Victoria, Australia: Great Wine, Beer, But NOT Much Rugby Union...

My wife and I made it to Australia. Our flights took us from Dallas, to San Francisco(where my wife and I enjoyed a nice long layover to see the city) Auckland, and then Melbourne. We had a great flight on Air New Zealand. Normally I cannot sleep on planes, but I slept a good 8 hours on the flight.

My Aunt lives in Myrtleford, Victoria-about 3 hours by car from Melbourne. I did not realize that I was going to be landing in the middle of "Foody Central": Vineyards, olive trees, orchards, specialty food shops, and micro-breweries.(In this case, Bright Beer-they make a great stout) The topography and attention to fine food reminds me a lot of the area between Lyon and Aix-en-Provence in France. My French friends will be pleased to know that I am eating and drinking just about as well as I did 4 years ago when my family and I were in France for the Rugby World Cup.

With less than two weeks away from the kick-off of Rugby World Cup 2011, and home to the new Tri-Nations champs, the Wallabies, you would think that people in Victoria would be talking about the upcoming World Cup and the chances of their boys in Green and Gold in New Zealand....At least here in Victoria, you would be wrong. I had to look through 3 different news vendors to even find a World Cup Guide. The local papers have a lot of coverage of Cricket, Aussie Rules Football, and some Rugby League Coverage. The only paper  I have found with any Rugby World Cup coverage was "The Australian", and even that coverage was scant. I could almost swear that  I was back in the USA with the lack of mainstream rugby coverage. If there is any doubt where Rugby Union stands for the Aussie sports fan, it would seem that Rugby ranks behind Cricket, Footby, Rugby League, and even the US Open Tennis has had more coverage with a lot of attention to Samantha Stosur.

At least there will be a lot of live TV coverage, which is more than we can say back in the US.

At any rate, I am enjoying discovering a new area of Australia-when I was here 5 years ago, I was in Darwin-and it is even better to be away from the heat in Texas. Now if I can just find some rugby coverage in the Australian press....

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