Two hilarious Englishmen take a photo of themselves in front of the Webb-Ellis trophy. Outside of the matches, the epicenter of the Rugby World Cup is Place de la Concorde in Paris. There, supporters of different nations and rugby fans can venture into the Rugby Village. And for a little souvenir, open the doors of the official store. With its 1,000 m2, it has dimensions comparable to those of the colossal pillar of the XV of France Uini Atonio.
Inside, there are berets, caps, socks, ties, scarves… Apart from clothes, there is a collection of magnets, key rings, stuffed animals and balloons. There is no doubt that rugby fans will find what they are looking for there, regardless of their budget. “Prices range from 5 to 100 euros,” explains Renaud Rodas, the store manager. Everything is done so that everyone leaves with the object that makes them happy. »And since rugby is a family sport, there is also a kids and baby section.
For those who want to pay the price, the Webb Ellis range, named after the founder of modern rugby, offers polo shirts, jackets or collector’s boxes. There are also real replicas: the match ball or the jersey of the players of the France team. “These are authentic, made in Romilly-sur-Seine [Aube]. Supporters buy them because they identify with those who wore them and who are their idols,” explains Renaud Rodas.
All nations are honored
Twenty teams are participating in the 2023 Rugby World Cup. All of them are obviously present on the stalls of the boutique on Place de la Concorde. Each product can be purchased with the rooster of the blues, the New Zealand fern, the Romanian oak leaf or the Chilean condor. “We have a good depth of range across the entire World Rugby side,” says the manager. The bestseller? “It’s the blue jersey of the XV of France. It is followed by the white jersey of Japan. »
The official store is also a place to meet the ambassadors of the competition. Recently Dan Carter, Bryan Habana and Sébastien Chabal have stopped by. “On weekends, the store is full and the line goes all the way outside,” admits Wilfried, one of the salespeople. It’s great to meet so many enthusiasts, to talk with them and to be able to advise them. »