Lili Auriat 17:37 p.m., December 01, 2023

For Serge Blanco, "the rugby of yesteryear" is above all an atmosphere, a solidarity, a friendship above all, between the players, who grow together, both technically and humanly. During the first Rugby World Cup in 1987, the XV of France came to play a semi-final against Australia, in Sydney, in a stadium acquired for the cause of his team. Serge Blanco tells the story of this match in "Les Géants du rugby", a podcast produced by Europe 1 Studio.

"Rugby is the story of a ball with friends around it and when there is no more ball, there are still friends," said Jean-Pierre Rives, renowned player and founder of the French Barbarians. This idea is widely shared by Serge Blanco as he explains in "Les Géants du rugby", a Europe 1 Studio podcast.

At the first Rugby World Cup in 1987, the XV of France had just won a semi-final against Australia at home, in Sydney. It was a scenario that few people believed, as Les Bleus had not beaten the Australian team for more than 25 years. And yet that day, Serge Blanco said: "I feel a lot of strength, a lot of energy being released. I felt pushed by others."

Lifelong teammates

Pushed by teammates he has played with since his debut, such as scrum-half Pierre Berbizier. Also spurred on by the fans who came from all over the world to watch the finals and who invaded the pitch after the final whistle. This World Cup, for Blanco, is a story that goes far beyond the limits of a rugby field: "these are human adventures, this group, after the semi-final, is an exceptional group".

"We made sure that these moments remain unforgettable," explains Serge Blanco. The moments he remembers from this first World Cup in 1987 took place outside the matches. These are the Basque chants sung by the French players on the night of their semi-final victory. It's Sunday lunch, in the company of the Blacks the day after the defeat of Les Bleus in the final. Those players who have lunch together, with wives and children, and forget their differences and differences. If dialogue is not the order of the day because of the language barrier, gestures and looks are enough.

Sharing Highlights

Serge Blanco experienced his World Cup victory even before the final kicked off. Grouped together under the in-goal, Jacques Fouroux's men, as united in victory as in defeat, confide in each other, sharing their daily pains. "It's the most beautiful thing we shared in this final, even if we lost," said Serge Blanco.

Proud of the progress he has made, he has no regrets about the 1987 World Cup and it is this journey, full of emotions, that he tells us in Les Géants du rugby, an original podcast produced by Europe 1 Studio.