Daniel Dubroca

The Gentleman Farmer

"That game in 1991 against England at the Parc des Princes in the RWC hurt so much at the time. The ref let England get away with murder. There was so much injustice and so many flagrant referring errors. Serge got smashed, tramped on and abused. After the game, I grabbed the ref in the tunnel by the collar and shoved him against the wall. He ran off fast but it was curtains for me as soon as the journos got hold of the story. Of course you regret it afterwards, but it felt good at the time! After 24 hours or so, Ferrasse said to me: 'Right, you better resign because you have created a shit storm with les rosbifs.' The upside was that I could devote myself 100% to running my business!"

Daniel called me and said: ‘Let’s do a dinner at a great restaurant in Agen called La Table de Michel Dussau. We’ll get Philippe and Dominique to join us.’ That was an offer I couldn’t refuse – I mean, dinner with this great triumvirate of the 1980s including their great Captain and leader Daniel Dubroca, one of the top 5 centres ever to play rugby union, Philippe Sella, and the unsung and ever dependable hero Dominique Erbani. It was like a lifetime’s worth of Christmas presents packed into one giant stocking. We had a wonderful evening of stories, banter and forceful opinions. It didn’t stop me going back for a second time though, meeting both Daniel and Philippe again on different occasions. Whatever Van Morrison says in his great song ‘Tupelo honey’, you can’t buy that for all the tea in China.

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