Franck Mesnel

Parisian Panache

"I remember going to RCP for a trial in 1986 when I was 25 years old. I had trained really hard and we played a second division side in what I regarded as the most important game of my life. I turned up at the end of the summer and all the current RCP players who would become my great friends were there. They had just returned from holiday, still with sand in their toes, and were taking it a lot less seriously than me! I remember Jean Baptiste Lafond, who I didn’t yet know, looking at me and saying: ‘The fat boys should be over there with the other forwards’ I had to explain to him that I was actually a back! He reluctantly accepted in his humorous, dead plan way."

Franck is the sort of guy who is every mother in law’s dream – charming, articulate, intelligent, funny, chic, good looking and a great businessman being the founder of Eden Park. What more could a mum in law hope for? And there is the rather large matter of playing for France 56 times too. I tracked him down at Eden Park’s HQ on Rue Mont-Louis the 11tharrondissment in Paris. Over lunch in a small Italian restaurant, we spent 3 hours chatting about the big characters of French rugby and how Franck and his team mates have built Eden Park from nothing into a very successful €50m t/o business.

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