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Tyrone Howe: Unique charm of Biarritz some consolation for another defeat

While disappointment reigned for all involved in last Sunday’s game, supporters still managed to enjoy their time in the South West corner of France.

Having now visited Biarritz twice on a Heineken Cup weekend, there can be few better places to watch a game of rugby.

Toulouse has the grandeur of rugby history and class — the sporting aristocrats of Europe. Stade Francais has a flamboyance and perceived hedonism inspired by both its owner Max Guazzini and Paris itself. Biarritz, on the other hand, has a unique charm.

You cannot help but be impressed by a place which combines a small town feel with grand architecture, stunning coastline and wonderful gastronomy all ably supported by a climate that indulges you with lashings of Vitamin D in the healing rays of sunlight.

Ulster’s supporters were warmly welcomed by the locals who enjoyed the colour, noise (sorry, singing) and general bonhomie that exudes from Ulster’s travelling contingent, and without a hint of trouble.

Every now and again we deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back, and for those who made the trip across, you were great ambassadors for the sport and for our own wee part of the world. While the first win on French soil remains frustratingly elusive, at least for another year, when it eventually does happen, there will surely be few in Biarritz who will begrudge us our own moment in the sun. Well done Ulster’s supporters.

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