French Rugby Fans Faulted for Releasing Roosters

I was originally going to title this post “French Fans Get Their Cocks Out For Rugby Match”, but some more sensitive viewers might misunderstand what the article would be about. Perhaps they’d think I was going to discuss this event. But today’s actual story is really for the birds.

Tricolor rooster

A recent rugby match between France & New Zealand in Wellington was occassionally interrupted by some foul play. Not one, not two, but three roosters were tossed onto the field at different times throughout the match. One of the roosters was painted up in red, white and blue (see photo above). How cocky.

New Zealand’s STUFF website reports that a pair of French rugby fans were apprehended by police for releasing one of the roosters, although not the tricolored-one. However, Anthony Bigot & his uncle Laurent escaped any jail time after agreeing to give the bird to the SPCA. Bigots, cocks, giving the bird - this story has everything!

Apparently, the rooster is proud symbol of the French nation, thus the tossing of those birds onto the pitch. But I’m not sure if it’s such a proper patriotic tribute. How would people react to someone throwing eagles during a U.S. national team rugby game?

Besides, it doesn’t sound like the roosters enjoyed the spectacle:

Attempts to remove the red and blue stripes from Tricolore (the tri-colored one) were unsuccessful. Staff believed oil-based paint or a strong dye had been used. “We are fostering it out so it can dust bath and hopefully speed up the process of getting the colour out,” (SPCA inspector Ben) Lakomy said.

All three roosters were highly stressed by their ordeals. “It was raining hard, their hearts were beating fast, all that noise and chasing was extremely stressful.”

Poor roosters. To calm things down, maybe the SPCA should hold a relaxing barbecue, with the three rugby-weary roosters as the main course…er, main guests of honor.