Each rugby World cup has been so different. 1991 and the first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson greeted the players on the pitch. It was a “goose bump” moment.
However, I think the iconic moment of all the tournaments so far has to be 1995. Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa, wearing the Sprinboks jersey as he took to the pitch. That was history in the making.
If I asked my husband for his memories of the various world cup tournaments, he would recall passes, tries, line outs which turned games. My memories are about the build-up and the meals we shared before during or after the matches.
Sharing a glass or two of wine with my parent’s in law while urging the players to keep running for the try line. While the men discussed the off loads my mother in law had many a rugby story regarding the matches she saw from the side-lines.
Sharing breakfast at unearthly hours of the morning so that we would be ready to cheer on the team when the tournament was held in Australia and New Zealand and again in Australia. Sharing food with Conor and his New Zealand rugby family temporarily living in Ireland.
Discussing previous matches and listening to rugby stories told by Grandpa have become shared memories. Hearing about the huge breakfasts which were devoured before a hotly contested rugby match when Grandpa was a young man in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
What about a day trip to Paris, looking down the Champs De Elysee, gazing at the Mona Lisa, sharing a steak meal in a bistro, experiencing the metro and culminating in a rugby match at a world cup while being shown great nooks and crannies along the way? We experienced all this, and it was magical even if we were once again beaten by Argentina. Jane thanks for adding to those memories.
Joining with friends from South Africa to watch the matches with meals spread out before, during and after the matches. Being introduced to new dishes and new wines. Cheering their grandson who was a mascot at one of the matches. Crying from the heat of Alvin’s chutney and crying from laughter while listening to Rhona’s brilliant telling of previous rugby matches.
I mustn’t forget when our son was young, before every tournament the flags of the participating countries were drawn, coloured and draped along the banisters adding to build up excitement. Getting the rugby jersey’s ready. Of course, warning our neighbours that they would be hearing screeches but not to worry as it was just a rugby match.
Rugby World Cup? Memories created by family and friends.