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Serge Blanco pictured here with Jean Pierre Rives
Inpho/Billy Stickland
Fair Play T'Ya Serge
4 April 2007, 10:42 pm
By Pat Geraghty
It's rare in sport, in this cynical age, for an organisation in one country, to make the sort of sacrifice that the Ligue Nationale de Rugby is prepared to make on behalf of a sister organisation in another.
The threatened withdrawal by the French clubs from next year's Heineken Cup has been sparked it seems, by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby's (LNR) outrage at how the (English) Rugby Football Union (RFU) have treated their constituent members who compete in the competition.

Yes that is French outrage on behalf of their English cousins. Touching. (Particularly in a World Cup year. And France hosting).

And Serge Blanco, the not so petit General or President of LNR, the French equivalent of Premier Rugby, has applauded the decision by the English clubs to withdraw from the competition. Because he is so outraged.

His sadness at the withdrawal is probably as great as his outrage because the RFU according to him, "is not making an effort." Et d'ailleurs, guess what ? What is even more outrageous is that according to Monsieur Blanco, "what we are demanding makes sense."
Ah well sure what's wrong with everyone. If it makes sense, can we just agree to these demands and get on with things.

So to clarify. What we have is the English clubs deciding last Monday that they would withdraw if the French decided tomorrow (Thursday) to do what they have been threatening all month.

Mind you it's not that long ago when there were French and English mutterings over the number of Irish clubs participating (at the expense of course of French and English clubs) while at the same time questioning the validity of allowing the Irish to enter provincial sides rather than clubs.

But enough of that. It is great to see this hands across the channel - entente cordial as it were - at a time when self interest, is all too often, the order of the day. (Particularly in a World Cup year. And France hosting).

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