It almost seems a lifetime ago that we boarded the plane bound for Bordeaux looking forward to another adventure with Edinburgh Rugby. There were no expectations for the game as we were about to play the high flyers in the French Top 14. Edinburgh had a few injuries to their lineup to add to the task. One thing for sure was that we were going to have another memorable trip supporting the team we all love.
Day Before The Match
We arrived the day before the game and were bussed to our hotel in the centre of Bordeaux. After a quick turnaround, it was off to the Stade Chaban-Delmas for the Captain’s Run. This was a chance to take photographs and soak up the atmosphere. The Edinburgh Rugby Media team were in attendance too, taking photographs and videos to document the visit. When the Captain’s Run ended we were taken down the players’ tunnel. We were able to walk all the way to the dressing room area. The tunnel is adorned with historic pictures of games and events that have taken place in this famous stadium.
Once back in Bordeaux centre it was time to sample the bars and restaurants of this famous city. We were not disappointed, the food was excellent and the wonderful Saint-Émilion wine flowed. Several of us stayed out until the early hours of the morning. There we were soaking up the atmosphere, enjoying the hospitality, and making new friends in the process.
Game day arrived and before the match a few libations were imbibed to lubricate the vocal chords. We all then met back at the hotel and boarded the bus to the ground. The bus driver was somewhat perplexed by the strange coloured wigs that certain fans were sporting. “The Bruheads” had donned their headgear and were ready to cheers on the team.
What always makes me happy is to see how even with a language barrier the love of rugby is what comes to the fore in these situations. The Bordeaux fans were so welcoming and somehow with our little grasp of the French language we were able to let them know what a great city they have and that we are having an amazing trip.
The result, in the end, was not that important as both teams progressed to the latter stages of the competition but little did we know that the teams would meet each other again in the 1/4 finals due to some strange results in the other groups.
Stranger still is the fact due to a worldwide pandemic did we ever imagine the game being played in September. Well, it has happened and on the 19th, Edinburgh will once again take to the field at the Stade Chaban-Delmas. I have a sneaky suspicion that the result will not be the same this time and that the team will produce another memorable away victory to send us to the semi-finals once again.
By Darren Coutts