"That tour to New Zealand in 1979 was fabulous. And that second test against the All Blacks was the greatest match I experienced for its intensity, pace and skill, and the way Jean Pierre Rives led the team. It was the first time we had beaten the ABs in New Zealand and it happened on 14th July. We celebrated Bastille Day twice, leaving New Zealand on the 15th, crossing the date line and arriving in Tahiti on the 14th!"
I looked forward to meeting every player but, in my mind, Cordorniou was special. He was my hero when I was at school, this supremely gifted, diminutive player with fabulous balance who could throw beautiful passes and always evade contact while he had the ball. He was mesmerising to watch and undoubtedly one of the greatest rugby players of his generation. Now a very successful politician, I tracked him down via the Mayor’s office in Gruissan near Narbonne, and we met for lunch in the beautiful coastal town of Sète, just south of Montpellier on the Mediterranean. He is warm, engaging and very articulate. He played with so many great players – Maso, Rives, Caussade, Sella, Bonneval, Charvet, Gallion, Esteve – and I wanted him to tell me everything he could recollect.
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