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'TOGETHER' - WORD PERFECT SAYS HANSEN
The Welsh Rugby Union today unveiled 'Together, Wales in Union' as the key word and slogan which it hopes can inspire Wales this summer against Ireland, England, Romania and Scotland - and to Rugby World Cup success.
All WRU staff were surveyed for their opinions, from the ticket office to the Millennium Stadium security guards to the Wales squad, and a WRU website competition sampled public opinion receiving over 2,000 entries.
The two web winners, who have had this version of their word and slogan accepted for the campaign will be guests at the two home games against England (23 Aug) and Scotland (30 Aug). They are 15 year-old Rhys Price from Cowbridge and 30 year-old father of two Simon Harvey, from Newport.
'The word is perfect for where we are right now,' said Wales team coach Steve Hansen.
''Together' doesn't just refer to the Wales team, the new regions or even Welsh rugby. It's not just one person or a group of people, it's about the nation.
'The greatest thing that could happen when we play is that the nation unites behind us. It should be like they are playing with us. People say good fans are worth an extra player on the pitch, but in Wales they are worth even more than that.
'No other country can match us as far as passion and enthusiasm and if we couple that with some smart work and driving forward 'together', for each other, in one cause - then our own cause of becoming the greatest rugby nation will be greatly enhanced.'
The artwork which accompanies the slogan, a symbolic silhouette of a rugby player stretching towards a red Cardiff skyline complete with the iconic image of the Millennium Stadium, inspired WRU staff to begin their search for the right words.
'We found the image first and knew it was the right way to signify the current feelings within Welsh rugby,' said WRU group commercial manager Gwyn Thomas.
'The silhouetted figure is representative of us all, he is expressing passion as well as reaching out, striving forward and leading the way. The Millennium Stadium features as a symbolic monument to all that is good about Wales, and the sky is about fire, fury and passion as well as the sea of red which every Wales fan is a part of when he/she supports the team.
'But we needed to package it in a way that was acceptable and representative of where we are at the moment, and finding the right words was the only way to do that.
'A lot of the entries we had used words like Pride, Passion, Awakening, Hwyl and Ymlaen which are all inspirational words, but we think we have found the one that strikes right at the heart of what the WRU is about at the moment and we hope it is something the nation can buy into.'
The poster campaign has been kick-started by a 30 foot version of the image outside the Millennium Stadium on Westgate Street and thousands will be given away this week at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells - all carrying a number which will provide frequent prizes to lucky winners via a regular website draw from now until kick-off against Scotland.
Billboard sites in East, West, North and South Wales have been targeted and WRU development officers will be spreading the 'Together' message throughout Wales as well as visiting major shows like the Eisteddfod in North Wales.
And the man who will lead Wales into battle against England and Scotland in August and prepare the side for the Rugby World Cup, believes this campaign could be the start of something momentous in Welsh Rugby.
'We use words and phrases as most sides would in the motivation of the team, but this word sums it all up and the campaign is something we are all getting behind,' added Hansen.
'The Welsh rugby public and the nation need a cause and we are asking everyone to unite behind the cause of 'togetherness', become a country that is united from North to South to East to West rather than splintered as it probably has been in the past.
'By coming 'together' and uniting to fight the battles that await us, we will give ourselves the chance for success.
'The chance to put rugby back where we would all like it to be and the only way we can do that is by working 'together'.
'It's not that we are saying everything is good and papering over the cracks, but that if we identify a problem the way to solve it is to work through it 'together'. If we can do that we will be a lot closer to getting where we want to go.
'We have a saying in the Wales camp that 'we shall never walk alone'. That was one of the major positives out of the big summer tour - the real and determined effort made by everyone within the squad to unite.
'Players, management, the young and old all came 'together' to present a united front. No-one would be left behind, no-one would 'walk alone' and we are all in the fight 'together'.
'We know that's the only way we'll turn the corner and it will be so much easier if everyone is with us, because we ARE all in it together.'
The WRU ticket hotline number is 08705 582 582, Wales versus England tickets range from Â£10 - Â£30 and a family of four can watch the Scotland game for as little as Â£25.
THE WRU and 'Together'
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'Together, Wales in Union' poster campaign:
150,000 posters in both English and Welsh, each carrying a free prize draw number offering frequent prizes to be collected at www.wru.co.uk, will be distributed around Wales. The posters will be handed out by the WRU Development Officers, who travel the country on a daily basis and a network of 65 2Travel Coaches, who will display the posters to travellers.
The campaign will also feature at:
1.The Royal Welsh Show. Annual event, which runs for four days, is expected to attract 200,000 visitors to the showground at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells.
2.The United Counties Show in Carmarthen returns after a two-year break, boasting that all food and drinks available are made in Wales. More than 30,000 visitors are expected at the two-day event, which begins on Thursday (24 July)
3. Pembrokeshire County show. 100,000 people are expected to attend the three-day Pembrokeshire County show at Withybush near Haverfordwest after a two-year break because of foot-and-mouth.
4. The National Eisteddfod in North Wales. This show is unique throughout Europe, it is the largest and oldest celebration of Welsh culture, and unique because each year it visits a different area of Wales. Celebrating the best of Wales it boasts 170,000 visitors and 6,000 competitors
5. The Big Weekend in Cardiff City centre from 1-3 August. The Big Weekend is the culmination of the Cardiff Festival. This is the UK's largest Travelling funfair and free live music stage which attracts 250,000 people. Promotion via advertisement in the guide (50,000) and on the Big Screen.
Plus, posters are available at the WRU Shop in Cardiff.
Posters are limited to one per person, terms and conditions apply.
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