Friday, September 07, 2007

Let Battle Commence

Argentina v France
Argentina v France KO 20:00BST
In just over half an hour, the 2007 Rugby World Cup begins. I shall shortly be heading out into the Village, where I shall be favouring Base Camp with my first World Cup drinking of the tournament.

This will be in no small part down to the establishment's fine Zimbabwean assistant manager, who has managed for England's opening game against the USA tomorrow, to relegate the England Association Football World Cup qualifier versus Israel to the poky little TV in the back near the kitchen.

It is the way he did it that deserves particular praise. He alleged that the technically feasible way to show both games was to show the Sky TV coverage on the big screens, with the terrestrial BBC soccer coverage on the small TV. The kevballers have reluctantly accepted this. It says something for their collective wit that they seem completely unaware that the Rugby World Cup coverage tonight is on, erm, ITV3, another terrestrial channel, not Sky at all.

The tournament opens with the hosts, France, facing the ever improving Argentinians. I shall, despite my French friends, be supporting France. This is not a classic case of the British supporting the underdog. It's simply a feeling of solidarity that many rugby supporters feel for the Pumas. The reluctance by the countries of the Six Nations and Tri-Nations tournaments to find some way to accommodate a team like Argentina that is as good as, if not better than some of these self-appointed elites is a scandal.

Argentina is currently ranked sixth in the world and deserves regular top flight competition to allow it to grow further, for the greater good of the sport.

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