Earlier this morning, we made our way to the King’s Cross St Pancras International Terminal to catch our Eurostar train to Paris Gare du Nord. Our family from Colchester met us at the station and at 12:24 we were on our way to France. The new Eurostar trains are incredible, reaching a top land speed of 344 km/h (reduced to 160 km/h when going through the channel tunnel) and is without any doubt the most convenient way to travel between the two capital cities.

After meeting up with 5 other South Africans, we were off to Stade de France to support the Springboks who were desperately looking for their first European win since Coetzee took over as coach (about 2 year ago). Now I’ve been to Stade de France before, in 2007 for a stadium tour, but tonight was much better as thousands of passionate French rugby fans were singing, banging on drums and cheering on the home team. The vibe and energy inside the stadium was great, but let’s quickly chat about this beautiful venue.

Stade de France is the national stadium of France and the 6th largest stadium in Europe. It has a capacity of just over 81,000 and is home to both French Football and Rugby. It hosted matches at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League finals in 2000 and 2006, and the 1999 and 2007 Rugby World Cup, making it the only stadium in the world to have hosted both a Football World Cup final and a Rugby World Cup final.  And, as France was awarded the 2023 Rugby World Cup, this stadium will play host to yet another final in the future.

The game wasn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but the Boks managed to squeeze through a tight 18-17 victory over France.

Good night from the city of love.