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Looking For Lady Luck In Lyon

  • September 7th, 2007
  • Posted by Sarah West

wallabies-1.jpgSPORT: Spending two months in France is one of the more indulgent fringe benefits the Wallabies will enjoy during their Rugby World Cup campaign when the competition kicks off this weekend (8-9.9.07).

Even with the mammoth task of winning the world’s toughest Rugby Union contest at hand, no player could possibly participate in the tournament without experiencing some of the finer aspects of their “very decadent” surrounds.

But perhaps those with the best opportunity to lavish in excellent things the host country has to offer will be the dutiful Australian fans, following the green and gold on their quest to regain the coveted Web Ellis Cup.

The Wallabies first pool B match against Japan will be played in Lyon, in the Rhone region of France.


The Wallabies’ went through some bad patches and struggled to find form after suffering a last minute defeat to England in the last Rugby World Cup final in 2003.

But after upsetting the All Blacks at the MCG in June, Australia have found new confidence just in time for the premier international rugby tournament.

Their mix of experience and youthful zest should prove too good for Japan who will really miss their star player, and the world’s top scoring international try-scorer, Daisuke Ohata, who is out due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

It’s expected Japan’s pack will experience great difficulty matching it with the Wallabies forwards, much heavier and taller than their opponents.

The return of Australian fullback Chris Latham from knee surgery will boost his side, whose biggest concern will likely be protecting playmakers Matt Giteau, Stirling Mortlock and Stephen Larkham for later matches against higher ranked teams.

The Wallabies should cruise through this match, leaving the Cherry Blossoms damaged in their wake.


Lyon is the third largest of the French cities, after Paris and Marseilles, and is the home of Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organisation). It’s known as a centre for fashion and is famous for its silk and textile industries.

Leaving Lyon without trying the ‘subtle but simple’ food it has on offer would be a cardinal sin; one which would most likely offend proud inhabitants. Chefs in the area believe in the notion of ‘food tasting like itself’; hence, their dishes are palatable for their simplicity and non-disguised natural flavors.

The key ingredients in Lyonnais cuisine are poultry, fish, fruit and young vegetables.

A visit to Lyon wouldn’t be complete without trying some of its specialty cheeses, including Reblochon which is a soft, washed-rind cheese made from non-pasturised cow’s milk, and has a nutty taste and creamy texture.

No rugby fan either toasting to their team’s success, or drowning their sorrows would be short of a good drop to do it with in Lyon.

The Rhone is a diverse wine growing region, home of the ancient Côtes du Rhône vineyards, producing warm and spicy Grenache based red wines and fruity rosés.

Exquisite full bodied white Condrieu is also made in Lyon; well worth a try but often very hard to get.

After Lyon the Wallabies will travel to Cardiff to take on Wales on 15.9.07.


Lyon and region:;; (6.9.07)
Rugby World Cup (Home). (6.9.07)