Who are you/ your role:
Lynsay Rayner – RWC Operations Executive
Quarter Final 2 & 4 – Ireland v New Zealand & France v South Africa – 14th & 15th October – Stade de France, Paris.
What was your favourite part of Paris?
I LOVE the French charm that the city has - with the traditional architecture, aesthetically pleasing French bistros and restaurants - covered in flowers and fairy lights - nestled among the cobbled streets, and the relaxed way of life. There is nowhere better to try cuisses de grenouilles or escargots… or maybe just a croque monsieur if you’re not quite that experimental!
What was your favourite part of the trip?
The atmosphere and the buzz around the city – particularly on the Metro and in the Montmartre area, where there are numerous sports and Irish bars. I recall boarding the Metro at around 4pm on Sunday, and there were already Rugby fans, singing and chatting, making their way to bars across the city to watch the earlier Quarter Final match taking place in Marseille.
How was the Match?
Both matches were incredible! The stadium itself was full to capacity each evening, generating an electric atmosphere, with both Irish and French fans out in full force.
Each night, the excitement began and built on the Metro – with fans from all nations singing and conversing with one another – before disembarking the Metro and making their way to the stadium.
Around the stadium, there are plenty of places to eat and drink – although it is definitely worth arriving early to do so! On the day of the Irish game, there was even a temporary ‘Temple Bar’ area, which made me chuckle.
Both games were nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat stuff – with scores remaining incredibly close throughout. Ireland attempted a comeback in the last 3 minutes, forcing New Zealand to defend their line for 30-plus phases at the end, but it was just too little too late and New Zealand’s defence remained ferocious. The following evening, there were 6 tries scored between France and South Africa in the opening 31 minutes. However, it came down to a 1-point difference at the end, and the defending champions, South Africa, beat the French on home soil.
What would you recommend doing in Paris?
There is so much to do in Paris! From the Arc du Triomphe, to the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, to the Champs Elysee, the Sacre-Coeur to the Sainte-Chapelle, to name but a few tourist attractions.
During the day, I recommend enjoying the Parisian sunshine and taking a wander along the Seine – from one iconic attraction to another – stopping for a spot of lunch at one of the many lovely French bistros or cafes, especially those with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The Metro system in Paris is brilliant and makes it so easy to get from A to B, so if walking isn’t your thing, you can utilize this and work your way around seeing the many tourist attractions.
During the evening, if you have a spare minute – seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle, which happens for 5 minutes on the hour every hour after sunset, really did feel magical!
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