Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy hols

Rugby Union loving Hak Mao has been away and posted some great pictures of Carcassonne. However, there is one sight that she appears to have missed during her stay in the heartland of French Rugby League.

This is the statue of Puig-Aubert, the greatest French Rugby League player of all time. He played after the war when Rugby League emerged from its persecution by the collaborationist Vichy regime, which made the game illegal. He was the test match captain of the astonishingly gifted French national team that captivated Australia with a series win in 1951.

An attacking full-back, he didn't bother much with defence, Puig-Aubert himself is described by Geoffrey Moorhouse as "the roly poly unathletic looking eccentric 'Pipette', a goal kicker in the Sullivan class, also known as a chain smoker, full of unpredictable style and Gallic temperament". My favourite story is of a tour match against Wigan where he caught the ball in one hand whilst holding a cigarette in another. He was apparently known to "accept a swig of booze or a cigarette from a spectator in the middle of a match". They certainly don't make them like that any more.


hakmao said...

Hah! On the way home the plane was full of Stade Toulousain supporters. I wished them well against Londres Irlandais

mikeovswinton said...

Keep these posts up Peter. Hopefully see you for the big one against Gateshead next Monday.

mikeovswinton said...

Correction; looking at the injury news; see you in the dressing room for the big one against Gateshead. You play full back and I'll take centre. That'll have em trembling in the streets of Gateshead. (copyright Bill McLaren)

hakmao said...

Just looked up the location of AS Carcassonne's stadium -- didn't get over that side of Leclerc Avenue. Will do better next time.