It was the annual beach rugby tournament in Tignes last Saturday. Wall to wall blue sky and the hot alpine sun made sure there was a real beach atmosphere despite being at 2100m above sea level! Val dâ€™IsÃ¨re won the amateur competition in the morning, conceding only one try in 5 games. Giles and Paul combining nicely to score the winning try in the final.
The pro-competition was to take place in the afternoon and as amateur Champions Val dâ€™IsÃ¨re were asked to join them. Fortunately we were playing touch rugby not full tackling otherwise things could have ended very differently! The motivation to run around for another spell of matches came in the shape of Stade FranÃ§ais. 13 times French champions and Heineken Cup regulars their squad is packed with Internationals and we were to play in their group. This was a warm up for their summer training camp that happens every year in Tignes, for us we were on our last legs, but how often do you get to play against so many legends of the game? A once in a life time opportunity.
Motivation was high as we lined up against a team that were practically all international stars. If you know your rugby these names should mean something to you: Julien Dupuy (Leicester scrum-half last year), Sylvain Marconnet (French prop), Mauro Bergamsaco (Italian back row), Mathieu Basteraud (French centre), Christophe Dominici (ex-French wing), Sergio Parisse (Italian back row), Roncero Rodrigez (Aregntinian prop), Dimitri Szarzewski (French hooker). They all played and we even managed to score two tries against them! Lewis and Garner are still waiting for a call from the Stade FranÃ§ais coach such was their performance on the day.