Ooh la la! Oban rugby is going global

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Rugby in Oban is about to reach a worldwide audience after being filmed by a French camera crew.

The crew were at Oban Lorne RFC on Saturday to start the film rolling for a documentary they are making to coincide with this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Christian Califano, former French rugby union player-turned-match presenter, was the crew’s frontman.

‘It was a good choice to come to Oban. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity,’ said Mr Califano who was impressed by the clubhouse as well as its players.

‘The clubhouse is like a temple for the players. Here they have all their souvenirs and trophies. I like to see it,’ he added.

Inspired by Dee Bradbury, who rose through the ranks at Oban Lorne RFC to become the first female president of Scottish Rugby, the documentary makers are wanting to capture the hard work that amateurs put in to running rural clubs. Similar programmes are also being made with teams in Africa and Japan, to be shown on channels round the globe in the run-up to the World Cup.

Club president Sandy Rokitta said: ‘The documentary is about highlighting the work put into playing rugby from rural locations like ours in Oban. Our nearest away game is at Helensburgh, 80 miles from here, and the furthest is Wigtownshire near Stranraer which is 180 miles to travel. Then we’ve often got the weather to contend with. It’s not easy. It’s been an absolute privilege to welcome Christian and the film crew to Oban.’

Saturday’s filming was of Oban Lorne’s mens 1st xv against Bishopton.

On Sunday, Mr Califano was due to go over to Kerrera to visit one of Oban Lorne’s players who lives there and uses a kayak to get to mainland practices and matches.

Monday saw more filming at Oban High School’s School of Rugby session and that evening Rob Wainwright, a former rugby union footballer who was capped 37 times for Scotland, was at Oban Lorne RFC for the men’s and women’s training sessions.

After more filming at Oban High School and the club in Glencruitten Drive during the week, the film shoot ends this Saturday with a mini rugby festival and Oban Lorne playing Paisley as the last league game of the season.