Dominique Erbani

The Unsung Hero

"Before I played the All Blacks, Robert Paparemborde said to me: ‘Until you have played the All Blacks, you haven’t lived, you don’t know what rugby is.’ I thought: ‘Holy shit. I have played the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots and it was fucking hard. Playing the All Blacks is going to be a nightmare! They remain to this day a magic team."

I’ve always thought of Dominique Erbani as the great bass player in that French pack. Berbizier may have been the conductor dictating the strategy and bringing his forward pack of musicians into play, with Rodriguez the lead singer and Champ on lead guitar, but it was Dominique who held it together in the back row. He was so dependable, the ever-present bassist providing the rhythm and beat. You may not notice him much but, like so many great blindside flankers, if he weren’t there, it would be immediately obvious.

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