Back in 2007, my son Ian and I saw two games from Rugby World Cup 2007 in Montpellier. The games were played at the Stade de la Mosson, but Australia practiced at this stadium, which is now the current home for Montpellier's rugby team. It seats about 15,000. Rugby is done here for the year, as Montpellier will play it's next playoff game at a neutral site in Toulouse.
One of my other great memories in 2007, was visiting my friend Jean-Paul in Puisserguier, a little village near Bézieers. Languedoc is right in the heart of rugby country. Montpellier may be on top of the standings in Ligue 1 in soccer/football, but the oval ball is something very near and dear to the heart of the average person in the smaller towns.
One evening, while in Puisserguier, Jean-Paul, my son Ian and I had a few too many glasses of Pastis at a local, rugby-centric bar. Too drunk to drive back to Montpellier, we stayed the night at Jean-Paul's place. one thing I remember is trading my USA Rugby sweatshirt with the bartender, a fellow prop, who gave me his rugby jersey for the local side.
The other day, my wife and I stopped in Puisserguier to meet Jean-Paul, and we stopped at the same bar/café. The bartender remembered me, and even gave me a glass of Pastis for old time's sake...
|Pastis! The National Drink of the South of France.|
|Our friendly bartender remembered me from 2007|
|With a signed ball by Robert Hierro, former Toulon Coach.|