But French rugby team insists on British beef

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It was an act that traversed barricades, transcended language barriers, bridged agricultural divides and added a lighter touch to the escalating Anglo-French beef war.

It was an act that traversed barricades, transcended language barriers, bridged agricultural divides and added a lighter touch to the escalating Anglo-French beef war.

While the rest of their countrymen were trying to keep British beef out of France, the French rugby team were doing their bit for their European buddies. On arrival at the Slough-Windsor Copthorne Hotel on Monday they were given salmon for lunch - politically very correct - but for their evening meal, they insisted on Les Rosbifs (their sobriquet for the English rugby team). And they got it - roast beef for dinner. And as they wanted the best cut, quite naturally, the hotel served them British beef.

Ian Parkinson, the hotel's general manager, said: "We spoke about their evening meal after we had given them salmon and pasta for lunch. They told us that they wanted roast beef. They did not stipulate that it should not be British. We bought rump of Welsh beef and gave them that."

The situation amused Lionel Rossigneux, the team's media liaison officer, who said last night: "We did not know it was British beef. I know there is some trouble about British beef in France, but it was OK."

There is no chance of a repetition though, because that was the last occasion the team will have red meat this week. From now on it's chicken or fish only - though they have specified that the fish should be Dover sole.

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