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."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.