|Date of Birth:||31/01/1958|
|Place of Birth:||Caracas|
Born in Venezuela, Serge Blanco grew
up in France and became one of the most exciting rugby players ever
to appear for Les Bleus. After making his debut against South Africa
at Newlands in 1980, he went to make a total of 93 appearances for
his country before bowing out of the game following France's RWC'91
It is tempting to assess Blanco’s career in a catalogue of statistics - 93 matches is a lot of internationals in anyone’s language - but to do so would be to miss the very essence of the player. Blessed with scorching pace and an attacking spirit, Blanco's trademark was the daring counter-attack from deep which more often than not resulted in breathtaking tries for his side.
For the great French sports’ daily L’Equipe, Serge Blanco was le superman du rugby. Where other players appeared ruffled and exhausted, he looked composed and chic. The game appeared to come easy to him, but international rugby is never easy. There were good games and bad. He could be erratic and exasperating - but he was also a match winner in every corner of the rugby world. He scored tries against all of the home countries of the Five Nations championship; he scored tries in New Zealand and Australia; he even scored them in Buenos Aires and Colorado.
Perhaps his most famous try was his
injury time score against the Wallabies in the 1987 World Cup
semi-final which sent France through to meet the All Blacks in the
With the scored poised at 24-all in the dying seconds of the match, France set off on one last desperate attacking move with the likes of No.8 Laurent Rodriquez, centre Denis Charvet and scrum-half Pierre Berbizier making ground up the middle of the paddock. Blanco received the ball from Rodriguez some 30 metres from the opposition tryline and forgetting his injured hamstring, set off for the corner, outpacing four Wallaby tacklers to dive in for a thrilling try.
Realising that he had clinched the match for his side, Blanco threw the ball away and just sat in the in-goal area on his knees, overcome by the emotion of the moment.
|Acknowledged as one of the all-time rugby greats, Blanco is now a successful businessman and owns, amongst other concerns, the Serge Blanco Hotel and Health Spa on the Basque coast of France.|