It was a tremendous bonus as it not only gave me the opportunity to indulge myself in the game itself, but also the beautiful Georgian city of Edinburgh - a great favourite of mine.
Promising my wife a belated Valentine's Day break in the Scottish capital I set about trying to find a hotel. No cheap Bed & Breakfast would suffice anymore and with only three weeks to the match there were very few spare beds in town. What else could I do? I swallowed hard, broke out my flexible friend, and booked into the grand and imposing Hilton Caledonian, just off Princes St.
"Would you like a room with a view of the castle?" asked the receptionist, before quoting a price of rock-star proportions. I politely declined,
"No, the car park will do just fine!"
We flew up late on the Friday night, checked in at the hotel, and went out in search of sustenance. Edinburgh was a blaze of red shirted revelry and doorman after doorman turned us away, presumably for being too sober. At least we had the hotel mini-bar to fall back on.
Match day arrived amidst glorious sunshine coach loads of Welsh reinforcements were pouring into town, headed for the bars at the front line, ready for the "big push" when they opened. "Never pass a bar with your name on the door", I had once been told. So at "Dirty Dick's" in Rose St. I duly stopped and very nearly stayed - it was so full I couldn't get out!
The game itself is probably best remembered for Wales snatching a draw from the jaws of victory. The kilted Scot next to me in the South stand was clearly regretting getting out of bed that day, until something clicked in the second half and the blue-shirted ones began to run amok. He was a friendly chap, but to this day I still haven't a clue what he was talking to me about throughout the game. Maybe someone else will have better luck if he turns up in Cardiff this year!
At full time we made our way directly to the Grassmarket, determined to get into the pubs this time. Fed and watered we retired to enjoy our luxury accomodation,
"Let's finish off the mini-bar", I suggested without thinking first.
My crikey, how I paid for my mis-placed enthusiasm when I saw the bill the next morning!
At least my Wife was laughing!
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.
Geraint John has taken up the new role of WRU elite coach development manager having arrived in Wales last week. WRU TV caught up with him at the WRU rugby department's strategy day at the Millennium Stadium.
The entire Welsh Rugby Union Rugby Department gathered at the Millennium Stadium earlier this week where WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey looked back on a year where structural and strategic changes have seen significant progress made
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