Les Bleus complain over ‘monotonous’ Croydon

A couple of days into the Rugby World Cup schedule in England and the French are already moaning, according to stories hitting the newspapers, one of them in the Guardian and embellished elsewhere.

The World Cup kicks off tonight when England take on Fiji and Les Bleus face Italy in Pool D that also includes main rivals Ireland.

But the French have complained that their Rugby World Cup base in Croydon is a “monotonous” and “pas très chic” (not very stylish) suburb.

Les Bleus are staying at the four-star Selsdon Park Hotel in south London during the five-week tournament.

However, though French management would have checked out their accommodation and area before agreeing to stay there, the players appear to be none too happy.

Some of the squad and the reporters accompanying them are less than impressed with their surroundings.

The MetroNews newspaper said Croydon was “sad”, and published unflattering pictures of its brutalist skyline to illustrate its point. It claimed that the last time the town had made headlines was during the 2011 London riots.

“If Les Bleus have enjoyed the charms of the very British Selsdon Park Hotel, there’s no doubt they’ll linger for far less time in the town that surrounds it,” the article said.

“Because if the place where the French XV are staying is pretty and leafy, this south London suburb is much less so.” The French prop Uini Atonio complained that a rowdy wedding reception at the hotel had kept him up all night on Saturday.

The New Zealand-born player, who is 6ft 5in and 25 stone, said: “I did not really sleep well. We might have to change hotel.”

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