Q: Brett, you're in Moscow for the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens, but there'll be plenty on that tournament in the coming days. I want to know what it was like playing in pink bow-ties and sipping champagne at halftime in your days with the Racing club in France?

We first wore those in the 1987 final [against southern-based Toulon] and again when we won in 1990 [against southern-based Agen]. It grew out of the idea in the south of France that anyone who played in Paris was somehow "a pansy". So the backs played on it and kept pulling these stunts. One game we wore Bermuda shorts, another game we rode on to the field on bicycles and there was another where black face-paint was applied.

Q: A few of their other antics are legendary too, like wearing berets for an entire match and that tray of champagne and glasses being carried out during the 1990 final. What was it like being part of the backline creativity with former French back Franck Mesnel and the rest of the gang known as Le Show Bizz?

Yes, Franck and a few of the other guys became shareholders in the Eden Park brand [named after the venue for the first World Cup which Mesnel played in]. It's been a great success and reflects the fact they always played with a sense of fun.


Q: You must've always had your own sense of creativity working for big advertising firms like McCann Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather. How have you related that to rugby?

I've always loved rugby's ethos because it's so heavily weighted towards character building. The advertising experience takes you into a lot of boardrooms where you have to quickly work out what the people stand for and what they want to achieve. It's like using shorthand with your eyes as you sum up the situation.

Q: It all sounds quite Don Draper. What's some of the work you're most proud of in the advertising industry?

I managed to author the "Let's make things better" line for Philips as well as Tag Heuer's "Don't crack under pressure". I just loved working on interesting brands, they helped fill my experience reservoir.

Q: Speaking of such reservoirs, you have a rare record against the All Blacks, having played them in two countries, for Victoria on the 1980 tour and for French Barbarians selection in 1986?

Yes, and I never beat them. However, those sorts of experiences help give you a feel for the game and understand its technicalities and its passions. It is not essential in my position but it is a big help when connecting with people in all walks of rugby life.