Sun, Oct 23, 2011 - Page 20 News List

RUGBY WORLD CUP: French paper gives 50 reasons for fans to rise early today

AFP, PARIS

French sports daily l’Equipe yesterday devoted its entire front page to 50 reasons why France should set its alarm early this morning to watch the World Cup final against New Zealand.

Among the more tongue-in-cheek suggestions were No. 5: “To confirm that it really is France that are taking on New Zealand,” or No. 42: “To perform the haka with my mother-in-law.”

To counterbalance the politically incorrect, No. 30: “Because in the morning, my wife looks like an All Black,” while No. 31 suggested: “Because 30 well built boys make a change from my husband — in the morning, going to bed and at every other moment of the day.”

The list, appearing under the headline “Why you should get up early tomorrow,” started with the simple fact that today’s final at Eden Park “is a historic moment.”

No. 2, with a nod to the general perception that the All Blacks are hot favorites to beat a side that has lost twice en route to the final, stated: “Because sport is not an exact science.”

There was some wishful thinking too, as in “So as to be on the Champs-Elysees on time when the [France] victory will be celebrated” or “Because [wing] Vincent Clerc is going to score a try from 80m,” or even “To put the champagne on ice.”

In a reason that would have appealed to French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, No. 48 said simply: “Why not?”

The list concluded with a call to arms, irrespective of what lies in store on the battlefield of Auckland today: “Because I support my team right to the end.”

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