Rugby d’autrefois is a beautiful book by Midi Olympique’s director of over 20 years, Jacques Verdier, and recently published by Flammarion.
On the eve of the 6 Nations Rugby tournament, and less than a year away from the kickoff of the next Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, the author, through his lovely writing, tells about the game before it became professional.
The pictures, largely unpublished, rekindle nostalgia for the older generation and allow today’s youth to discover what Rugby was like before the hegemony of sponsors and the dictatorship of ”Chabalmania”. Largely in black and white, the pictures provide a glimpse into the era, they evoke the smell of changing room oil and camphor, magnify the euphoria of third half-times and the magic of the famous miracle sponge, they tell of the intensity of combat and underline the elegance and beauty of attitudes, immortalizing the period’s greatest players, Walter Spanghero, Jean Pierre Rives, Jacques Fouroux, the Boniface brothers, Jo Maso, Didier Codorniou, and others. More than just an homage to these great names of the past, and without opposing yesterday’s rugby to today’s game, Jacques Verdier helps us to remember.