French Top 14 - A new life in France
Follow the life of Everything Rugby team member Tom May as he begins life in the South of France with Toulon.
Monday 10th August 2009
Pre season summary
Pre season summary
This pre season has flown by! We are now in the build up to the first game of the season which is this Friday against Stade Francais, here at Stade Mayol. Normally, when you do a pre season like the ones in the Premiership we would still have about a month left before we played a game in anger - not here in France. Within a few days of starting our pre season rugby practice we had a game against Brive, followed the next week by a game against Racing Metro and then last week with a match against the touring Brumbies side.
We set out goals for the season when we were away in Serre Chevalier and one of those was to make Stade Mayol back into the fortress it used to be and by winning all three of our pre season warm up games we have made a start in creating a fortress. Not that these friendlies mean too much but you have to start somewhere I suppose. This weekend is going to be a really tough test and by the end of the game we will know more about where we are as a team. We have a fairly tough start in the league with Stade, Racing and champions Clermont all coming down to Toulon within the first 4 weeks but we are looking forward to these games and we are confident we can give a good account of ourselves.
We have had two and a half days off over the weekend and it was a good chance to get some good rest in before the season starts proper. I relaxed in Toulon, taking the dogs for some nice walks in the areas nearby including a fantastic lake in Le Revest. Life here is so different to back in the UK and whenever you have a day off it feels like you are on holiday which really helps the day offs do the job they are supposed to do - re-energise you. Life in the flat with two big dogs isn't easy and I try and spend as much time out of the apartment as possible especially as my wife is now back in the UK about to go on a holiday with one of her friends. I don't blame her - I wouldn't be too happy sitting around this flat looking after two dogs and if I had the chance to go somewhere until we can move into our house in the small port of Carquerainne then I probably would!
I was ill last week and was laid up in bed for around 3 and a half days with suspected colitis - if you haven't had it, try never to get it as it was horrendous. Throwing up, stomach cramps weakness and dehydration in a climate like this are really difficult to deal with. However, I have been really impressed with the medical system over here. I needed to go and see the doctor which I did, she lined me up for a stomach scan to check for any problems with my main organs in my stomach and then I have had two blood test in 4 days which have given the staff more of an idea what is wrong. They are going to do further investigations into the problem and are constantly checking with me how I am feeling. They look after you really well. You may say that is because I am a professional rugby player but you see this sort of treatment being given out to those who aren't professional sportsmen too; the medical advice and service provision is far better than back in the UK.
I can't wait for the season to begin and I really hope I am involved in the squad for the weekend's game. We have two days hard training Monday and Tuesday and then a day off on Wedesday. Thursday we aren't in until 7pm in the evening when we have a team meal and then we have the game on Friday. It is a fairly short week and the turn around to the Racing game next Saturday afternoon is a but longer so we can have a bit more training in us.
Posted by: , on August 10th 2009 on 10:27am0 Comments