Out Of Action

Not sure when I’ll be out and about to take photos again – I’ve had an accident which has bashed up my left knee and broken my left elbow – so holding a heavy SLR is out of the question at the moment!

I’ll just have to stay at home and watch a bit of rugby – there’s plenty on the telly at the moment…

I’ve even watched the reruns of the two Rugby World Cup games I saw in France. Here’s a shot from the England vs USA game in Lens.

Coupe du Monde en France

I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Rugby World Cup which started in France on Friday. I was on a tour which took in the Opening Ceremony, first game with France vs Argentina in Paris, then England vs USA in Lens the next evening. The trip was a lot of fun.

The links above give you photos from the two games, but I also took some shots in and around the ground to illustrate the ambience and lively atmosphere.

Outisde the ground, fans of all allegencies were mingling happily, just enjoying the colourful sideshows and rival fans. Not sure why this Frenchman looked embarrassed to have his photo taken – what did he expect, wearing an enormous yellow Chicken costume?!

Although the first game was heavily supported by the French, there were a good few fans from other nationalities in attendance – I saw Irish, Kiwis, Aussies and lots of English – plus a good number of Argentinians who were rewarded for their travel by their team beating France convincingly!

The greatest thing about rugby is how all the supporters get along with each other – none more so than these English and Argentine fans [below, showing some Entente Cordiale]. Most of the English I was with were supporting the Pumas agains the French – we’d obviously forgotten all about the Falklands debacle, but not forgiven the French for Waterloo…

There was a great party atmosphere inside the stadium, as seen below:

And right at the end of the opening ceremony, we were treated to a fly-past by crack French aerobatic display team, La Patrouille de France.

I would have liked a wide angle view with them flying over the top of the stadium, but I had the long lens fitted and there was about 2 seconds’ notice of their arrival!

Big Band Sendoff

The Rugby World Cup has rolled around again pretty quickly, and I was in Regents Park this afternoon for the Scrum In The Park event. The fans were able to see the England Rugby team training some lucky kids, there was a double-decker bus to sign with good wishes, and a Military Band provided the music to send off the team in stirring style. You can see more photos of the rugby-related stuff at rugbypix.com, but here are a few images of the colourful Busby-clad band.

[The Busbies Are Coming – the marching band approaches]

[Trombone Troupe – they have to keep their distance from the row in front!]

[Sargeant Sax can he really see out from underneath that Busby?]

[Sargeant Trombone – it was a wonder they didn’t get their trombone sliders tangled up with all the criss-cross marching]