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French Attempts At Securing 2023 Rugby World Cup Sinks To New Lows

French Attempts At Securing 2023 Rugby World Cup Sinks To New Lows
By Arthur James O'Dea Updated

With their hopes of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup encountering numerous internal complications, France have decided to explore less scrupulous methods of rebooting their bid.

While the French president Emmanuel Macron felt he could no longer publicly endorse the bid in light of scurrilous revelations, the committee has instead pinned their hopes on the seven-year-old son of deceased All-Blacks legend Jonah Lomu.

Dhyreille Lomu was born in France while his father represented Marseille Vitrolles during the 2009/10 season.

However, their stay in France was brief and Lomu's young family have lived almost exclusively in New Zealand.

With the French delegation presenting their bid to the World Rugby Council in London today, they have tasked Lomu's son with making their closing statement:

Dhyreille Lomu will conclude the formal presentation with a testimonial, telling why he is attached to France and paying tribute to his father all at once - a "tip of the hat" of sorts to the country that enabled him to see Jonah, world rugby legend and a man with a passion for France, play once again.

How aware the seven-year-old boy could have been of his father's brief stint in the French Fédérale 1 seven years ago is debatable.

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That the French delegation would indulge such an emotionally suspect method of obscuring their unsuitability for the bid should be no great surprise, however.

As the documentary Les Bleus: Une Autre Histoire de France demonstrated earlier this year, French sporting authorities are not averse to employing more satisfying narratives at the expense of addressing difficult issues head-on.

A former French rugby legend similarly engaged in the bid is Sebastien Chabal.

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Speaking ahead of the presentation, Chabal had was quick to justify the presence of the unexpected young visitors from New Zealand:

Jonah loved France, that's where they saw they daddy play rugby and they would love to come back in 2023 to experience the Rugby World Cup in a country where their father was so happy.

The cynicism of their approach was only heightened as both Dhyreille and his younger brother Brayley were sat on Chabal's knees throughout.

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How the WRC will respond to this approach remains to be seen; their decision will be announced in November.

If the prime concern is paying homage to this All-Blacks legend however, one can surely think of no finer tribute than the return of this tournament to South Africa.

Was it not there in 1995 that he introduced himself to the world in the first place? But, I suppose three games of amateur rugby in France 15 years later was just as important.

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