Top 14: before the semi-finals, the supporters of the four clubs took over the center of Nice

Small ground to try out rugby, games with balls, flags of all colors… By the sea, in mid-June, the Promenade des Anglais lives and breathes an oval ball. Friday June 17 and Saturday June 18, Nice hosts the semi-finals of the Top 14, Castres-Toulouse and Montpellier-Bordeaux-Bègles, as well as the respective supporters of the four clubs. Despite the stifling heat, the public has therefore invested in numbers in the fan-zone planned for the occasion, a few hours before the kick-off of the first match between Castrais and Toulouse.

The fan-zone was therefore adorned with red, black and blue this Friday afternoon. Stade Toulousain jersey on his shoulders, Samuel took advantage of the rising atmosphere before leaving for the Allianz-Riviera. He traveled from the Pink City this morning, accompanied by his two daughters, Lilou and Méline. “We follow the club as a family, it was a moment we couldn’t miss”he assures, confident for the evening meeting against the Castres neighbor: “It will be ok.” In the distance, the first song of red and black (“We come, we win and we go”) is thrown to warm up the vocal cords.

In the warm atmosphere of Nice, the supporters revive regional quarrels with humour. “They’re our neighbours, we like them, we exchange players, we can even follow them in Europe, but not tonight, tonight it’s every man for himself”smiles Patrice, who came to support Castres Olympique. “It’s the little village rugby against the big Toulouse beast. It’s going to be tight, but I believe in our chances”he predicts, before mingling happily with Toulouse to discuss the match.

Supporter of Castres, Patrice hopes for a victory of the CO against the neighbor and rival Toulouse.  (MAYLICE LAVOREL / FRANCEINFO: SPORT)

In the public of the fan-zone, several yellow spots suggest the presence of fans from La Rochelle (who happily recall their title of European champion at each roomy remark) and from Clermont, who had checked the date on their calendar and prepared their come. And in the middle, people from Nice returning from the beach, some with the towel still around their necks, come to discover the good atmosphere.

Like this little boy, dressed in the Blues football jersey, who asks his father to explain to him why the ball has this strange shape. Before watching with an impressed eye the procession of the first supporters who set off for the stadium, located a few kilometers away from the city center, for the continuation of the festivities.

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