Simon Easterby set foot in New Zealand last night and revealed how his Lions call-up has cost him the princely sum of 200 Japanese Yen.
The Scarlets star was called into the Lions squad at the weekend after Lawrence Dallaglio was ruled out of the tour with a dislocated fracture of the ankle. For Easterby it was a massive eleventh hour change of plans - he was due to head east with Ireland on Saturday night as part of the Irish tour party set for Japan.
However, a quick change of airports, a ninety minute taxi ride and a 24-hour flight later and the Irishman was in New Zealand with fellow Scarlet Dwayne Peel and his club coach, Assistant Lions Coach, Gareth Jenkins.
"It's never nice to benefit from someone else's misfortune, but I am delighted to be here," said Easterby. "I was sat in Shannon Airport with the rest of the Irish squad set for Heathrow and then Japan when the team manager told me I was re-routing to New Zealand. I got a plane to Gatwick, a taxi to Heathrow and then on to Auckland."
But it came at a cost as Easterby admits: "Straight away the boys told me that I was to be fined 200 Yen for pulling out of the tour. I didn't have it on me at the time, but I am sure they will call it in the next time I see them. I haven't been given any indication if and when I will get a game, but I am just glad to be here."
Easterby is due to get married at the end of next month and admits that he has left the final arrangements in the capable hands of his wife to be: "I did a lot of organising before I came out, but my girlfriend has got everything under control."
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.