Kiwi culture takes Paris by storm
5:00AM Monday October 01, 2007
By Catherine Field

The unusual oval venue will be able to seat 220 people.

We can probably assume rugby was not on the mind of Gustave Eiffel when he admired the newly opened lawns surrounding his elegant 324m-high tower.

In 1889, rugby was still a most English of sports and only hardy British seamen and merchants played the game this side of the Channel; Parisian weekends during Eiffel's belle epoque were for promenading, cabaret and cinema.

Tomorrow a quirky addition to Eiffel's lawns will be inflated alongside the tower: a white PVC rugby ball so big its owners think it could be the largest in the world.

Once finished the oval beast will measure 25m long, 17m wide and will stand 12m tall. On its side, the message will be the most un-French of slogans: "100 per cent Pure New Zealand."

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