I have watched 28 rugby games all in one day. For some, it might be a lot. For me and my best friend, it was a combinaison of fun, great meetings. unforgettable memories and most of all, loads of happy feelings.
What is “In extenso supersevens” ?
Saturday first of February. The LNR (National Rugby League) and the leading group In Extenso have officially signed a three-year naming contract, as part of the creation of the “In Extenso Supersevens”, the first French professional championship for 7-a-side rugby clubs.
I went with my 6-years loved friend (you see up there on the picture), from 10am to 7pm, to the U Arena stadium located in La Defense area (near Paris) to attend the tournament. As huge fans of rugby, we bought seats on the front row two months before and it was pure luxury. We could clearly see players training and playing at the same time. I would describe the day as a real rugby festival, a show on both the field and stands.
Rugby 7-a-side championship
For those who are afraid of not understanding the rules and the running of the Supersevens tournament, it is very simple : 16 teams (the TOP 14, Barbarians and Monaco), 14-minute long matches, 28 total games and messy tryouts. Clubs had to build up a squad of 20 players by fielding 15 players from their ranks, including a minimum of three professionals. As a side note, Frédéric Michalak, a famous former French international rugby player was responsible to create the Monegasque team.
What I liked the most about the tournament ? Beyond the fast and direct game advocated by Rugby Sevens, the competition has made rugby accessible to all audiences. It means a championship with an electric atmosphere that maintains a festive spirit where we could experience concerts and entertainments, while eating and drinking, being dressed up as an octopus and enjoying sensational sporting performances.
Giant karaoke, Blind Test, eSport, Crazy Tribune, Family Tribune, Bodega on the edge of the pitch… The In Extenso Supersevens had a huge and wide programme of events to offer alongside with multiple experiences beyond the simple framework of rugby. Therefore, after the first hours of shows and games, we decided to go and explore more in depth.
We left the stadium and decided to grab snacks and soft drinks. There were candies, french fries, pop corn, beers (a lot of beers), video games studios and DJ sets. We ran into famous rugby players, took pictures, talked and laughed. Everything located at the same place. At 2pm, we went outside to have lunch in order to be back at 3pm to watch the quarter finals. The winner ? Racing 92 (Ile-de-France team). I actually was not surprised as I support them since my childhood. They have eliminated the Stade Français (Parisian team) in the semi-final, before beating Pau in the final (28 against 12).
NB: The In Extenso SuperSevens 2020/2021 returns with 3 stages that will take place in Biarritz, Toulouse and La Rochelle, on August 15, 22 and 29, 2020. The final stage of this second edition will take place on November 7, 2020 in Paris La Défense Arena. I will surely come back to enjoy a second time the show that brings everyone all together (even for the non rugby fans). See you there (very probably on the front row again) !