Reporters writing in French newspapers have described the national rugby team’s UK base for the forthcoming World Cup as boring. One newspaper described the south London region around Croydon as very unfashionable while another said it was monotonous.
The reports stated Croydon’s chief claims to fame were that it was on fire during riots four years ago and that it is home to Selhurst Park. This football ground gained some notoriety as it as the place where Eric Cantona performed his infamous kung-fu kick back in 1994.
The French squad are staying at Croydon’s Selsdon Park Hotel. One journalist penned the line that if the team enjoyed the delights of this very English establishment then they would not be spending much time in Croydon’s town centre.
Most of the articles were accompanied by pictures of the concrete skyline that characterises the town centre of Croydon. The Selsdon Park is an upmarket four-star hotel spread over 200 acres with its own golf course. It is a popular choice with couples when they are choosing their wedding venues.
Members of the Les Bleus team are also reportedly unhappy with the choice of hotel. One of them is Uini Atonio. The 195-centimetre-tall prop said the team might have to move as a wedding reception kept him awake for most of Saturday night.
Assuming they don’t get knocked out, the Selsdon Park and Croydon could be home for the team until the end of next month. France play their first Rugby World Cup Pool D game against Italy on Saturday evening against rivals Italy.