18 September 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 is here!

Today’s the day!

From tonight’s opening ceremony to match number 48, the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday 31 October at Twickenham, rugby fans around the world – and in Cardiff – will be shouting themselves hoarse at matches (if they’ve been lucky enough to get tickets) or screaming at their television screens at home. In pubs, over a pint or three, they’ll be debating the merits of players and dissing the decisions of the referees. In tearooms and canteens, at smoko and over lunch, the only topic of conversation will be whether Steve Hansen’s chosen the right 31-man All Black squad or Warren Gatland’s Welsh boyos can beat Uruguay in their first Pool A match.

The Welsh love their rugby almost as much as my fellow New Zealanders do, and Cardiff’s world-class Millennium Stadium is the venue for eight World Cup games, beginning tomorrow night, when Ireland plays Canada.

Cardiff is abuzz! The flags of all the participating nations are flying in the streets.

And this morning Cardiff awoke to the news that the ‘Rugby World Cup 2015 has touched down in Cardiff with a BANG!’ Overnight, an enormous rugby ball had ‘smashed into the wall of Cardiff Castle’!

It’s fake, of course, but an extremely well done fake by UK-based company, Wild Creations, who specialise in making props and displays for television and film productions, retail displays, exhibitions and more. The huge ball was the talk of the town today, it was being photographed by everyone who walked past (including me), and the tag #ballinthewall was trending on social media.

The Millennium Stadium is bedecked with its gigantic World Cup banner and the flags are flying high.

Even the graffiti has a sporting theme!

So, even if you’re like me and you’re not actually a big fan of rugby, like as not you’ll be feeling the fever over the next six weeks. Here’s wishing all the teams the very best of luck, though, of course, being a Kiwi by birth, I can’t help but hope the All Blacks win! And, as I’m now living in Cardiff, I’m picking Wales for the runners-up!

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