There’s a huge party in Clermont-Ferrand this weekend. Yesterday the players of the ASM Clermont Auvergne rugby team came home from England to celebrate their victory over La Rochelle (by a dominating score of 36 – 16) to claim this year’s Challenge Cup. The annual tournament brings together 18 of the best clubs from three major leagues — England’s Premiership Rugby, France’s Top 14, and the international Pro 14 — plus 2 more teams from the Contintental Shield tournament representing the second tier of European Clubs. It was an exciting match for Clermont Auvergne fans. Greig Laidlaw (from Scotland) accounted for half of all the ASM’s points, and the Guardian newspaper described the action as ” a Barbarians-style […]
This weekend – get to Montferrand for the Medieval Festival
If you’re anywhere near central France next weekend, try to carve out time to visit Montferrand. The town has made something of a cottage industry out of its annual Medieval Festival which will fill the narrow streets of Montferrand this week from May 31st to June 2nd. I saw several signs around town offering to rent medieval costumes for the occasion (some of them are listed on the town’s official website), and they really do mount a serious affair. Each year’s festivities are devoted to a particular theme – “ancient trades,” “the Templars in Montferrand,” “the visit of King Henry II”, and so on. This year will be no different. Street musicians, medieval combat, troops of actors and dancers, […]
The Champions of Rugby – from the Deep Heart of France!
One of the things I missed most when we first moved to France was watching college football every weekend in the autumn. (This was in the days before Slingboxes and other solutions to seeing American television.) It didn’t take long, though, before I found a most satisfying substitute: rugby. More specifically, French “Top 14” league rugby, and our local team, the ASM Clermont Auvergne club. And all this came rushing back to me last Sunday, as the team from Clermont-Ferrand was crowned once again as the national champion of France! For an American football fan, it takes some work to understand the different rules and rhythms of rugby… but it’s worth the effort. These are guys that make American pro […]