Rugby World Cup France 2007

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Brilliant Opening Ceremony for the most important Rugby Tournament

The Cup fever has begun, and Paris told the world last night that this World Cup will be the most exciting one. With a tremendous show of colour and movements, the Opening Ceremony was displayed before the opening match between the hosts France and Argentina.

Indeed, on a balmy early autumn evening in Paris, the Stade de France was filled with a capacity crowd to see a vividly colourful and frequently bizarre opening ceremony featuring percussionists, dancers, and huge mechanical devices on wheels.

Opening with a field full of drummers beating out powerful rhythms on bright red oil drums, the 80,000 crowd, as well as hundreds of millions watching on TV were treated to a fly past by military jets trailing tricolour smoke of red, white and blue in honor of the hosts.

And the percussionists were then joined on the playing surface by a troupe of dancers dressed in riotously colourful costumes designed to represent the players of the competing nations.

Then on to the field, came actual representatives of the countries involved in the Cup, with scrum-half legend and Western Mail columnist Gareth Edwards appearing on behalf of Wales, alongside dancers, dressed in green colour, marked by large crosses, and with bike helmets apparently perched atop their heads.

I'ts important to notice that with constant camera flashes creating a strobe effect around the stadium, the ceremony reached its climax as the dancers fanned out across the pitch, while among them rolled four huge wheeled machines.

And they gathered in the centre of the pitch, hoisting four dancers into the air to unveil a huge model of the Webb Ellis Cup.

But viewers in Wales were granted just a glimpse of the ceremony, with broadcasters preferring the customary interviews with ex-players and pundits. At less than half an hour in length, it was just a blink of an eye for those used to marathon Olympic curtain-raisers, and ended in plenty of time for what we have all been waiting for – six weeks of the best rugby.

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