Rugby, Vanguard, Affinity Diasporas & The Big Prize
The vanguard is the leading part of an advancing military formation. It has a number of functions including securing ground in advance of the main force. Now if we drop the military aspect of the definition we can probably and very often apply this to a lot of situations.
On this side of the globe and more precisely in Ireland the countdown towards the World Rugby Cup 2015 kicking off on the 18th of Sept has begun and I must say personally I will follow with excitement and anxiety the progress of the French and Irish teams. I like the team effort, the discipline and the creativity that the game generates. Anything from lone ranger exploits to squad moments of sheer brilliance and the emergence of standout individual player such as Simon Zebo.
But who is Simon Zebo you may ask? His bio says he was born on March 16th 1990 in Ireland , His father, Arthur, was an 800-metre runner of Olympic standard in his native France and only missed out on the Montreal Games of 1976 because of a broken leg. Simon graduated from Presentation Brothers College before starting his professional career at age 20. He joined Ireland's national team in 2012, after playing for the U20 team in 2010. Simon’s dad is a proud black man while his mum is originally from Cork.
Coming from a French/Irish family too we will be following very closely our favourite player Simon, for my young son he is really the closest role model he can identify himself with. If you are not familiar with the sport and the Irish Rugby team, Simon Zebo is traditionally playing at the back. Despite his position on the pitch, he is clearly one of the new sports field leader and is in the process of becoming an iconic Irish figure. Besides sport and while he has never asked to become the poster boy for any cause he is probably illustrating some fundamentals shifts and major changes coming on our little island. De facto he is leading an improbable vanguard.
Irish And French, agile but fragile the new figure of Irish sport was rising fast two years ago and was promised to new heights but that got stopped suddenly due a broken foot injury, an injury indeed who is very simi