Beres and I first met in 2003 when he was the host at one of his infamous client lunches in a smart London restaurant on the eve of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) semi finals. I remember it well because the food, wine and company were fabulous and I quickly understood what a deeply committed Francophile and epicurean he was, and still is!
When he told me about his idea to write this book, I was immediately captivated. This wasn’t just because it was my generation, it was the golden generation of French rugby for all of us, and I too wanted to know where they all were and what they were doing. It was a big, ambitious project, and Beres was the perfect man for the job who would embrace this labour of love with all the requisite knowledge, skill and energy.
Having lived there for many years, working, studying and playing rugby, he of course speaks the French language fluently, which is sine qua non to being able to write this book. But more than this, he understands the inner workings of the French mind and their art de vivre, especially in the rugby-loving south of the country – the importance of making time to build genuine and strong relationships, understanding their food, wine and local products, and respecting their culture, customs and terroir. When it comes to France and their emotions, there are many things that can’t be seen or touched. You need to feel them with your heart and soul. Beres is an Englishman who really understands this.
So sit back, put your feet up and grab a glass of French wine. This book is as much a story about France, life, friendship and the human spirit as it is about rugby. It is bursting with wonderful stories, photos and, most importantly, a deep love and respect for France, its people and regions. It will make Francophiles, humanists and rugby fans across the world very happy.
David is a businessman, writer, Francophile, epicurean and rugby fan. He lived all over France between 1985-1993, teaching English, working for Andersen Consulting (Accenture) and playing rugby for Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Bordeaux Etudiant Club and the ACBB in Paris. He was born in Bath in 1967, the youngest of three children, just 40 minutes behind his twin sister Clare. He attended King Edward’s School in Bath followed by Loughborough University where he gained a 1st in French, Economics and Politics. He lives in Winchester with his wife and three children. When not traveling internationally on business, he divides his time between Winchester, London, Bath and everywhere in France.
Any profits that David makes from sales of the book will be divided evenly between his four charities: The UK Sepsis Trust; The British Heart Foundation; 40tude: Curing Colon Cancer; The Stroke Association.
Please see the section on the charities for more information.
Listen to David chat with the folks at BBC Radio 4 about French rugby players, the Rugby World Cup in Japan and the Brothers in Arms book.
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