The fiery dragons need to keep their discipline under control if they are to triumph over the heavyweights of England and Australia in their pool – to say nothing of the ever dangerous Fiji , whose winning match vs Wales in 2007 will be remembered for a long time. As always the welsh can be unpredictable and play amazingly – but they have a tough fight in their pool to get through to the next rounds with Australia looking to maintain their run of ten unbeaten matches . If they beat England to be number two in the Pool of Death – they then most likely would face South Africa followed by New Zealand waiting ahead of them – it’s not going to be an easy World Cup for the Welsh national team.
Captain: Sam Warburton
Player to Watch: Well for me that could only be one player – It was going to be Leigh Halfpenny but as he was injured in the match vs Italy – at time of writing, it is unsure if this truly world class player will be returning to the field in time for the world cup. I truly hope so as his kicking – let alone his courageous tackling make him such an important part of the Welsh line up. I wish him a very speedy recovery. Otherwise keep an eye on the brilliant Alun-Wyn Jones.
Dates of Pool Matches:
Sunday 20th September vs Uruguay – Kick off 14.30- Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 26th September vs England Kick off 20.00 – Twickenham
Thursday 1st October vs Fiji – Kick off 16.45 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 10th October vs Australia – Kick off 16.45 – Twickenham
To find out more about Welsh Rugby – http://www.wru.co.uk
For full details follow : http://www.rugbyworldcup.com
What to Eat & Drink whilst watching the Dragons.
There has been a real foodie revolution in Wales over the last decade or so – and today there is a wide range of great local produce to choose from to pair with your match day beer (s!).
One of the classic foods is of course laver bread, which now that Jamie Oliver is promoting seaweed as the most recent superfood that will also do wonders for your love life, may have a bit of a renaissance – but it’s an acquired taste. Available on line (and with recipes) http://www.laverbread.com
A great match day idea would be a Welsh Cheese Board – a good selection including Caerphilly are available at Waitrose but do look out for some more individual ones direct from the producer such as the lovely pungent Golden Cenarth – http://www.cawscenarth.co.uk or Black Bomber from http://www.snowdoniacheese.co.uk
As a nod to the many Italians that moved to South Wales, you could also offer an antipasti of mixed charcuterie – but all made from traditional breeds in South Wales including their awesome fennel salami or wild boar – truly delicious! http://www.trealyfarm.com
It would not be Welsh if leeks did not appear somewhere – so for perfect match day food – why not a twist on cheese on toast. Ideally take puglian bread – pane pugliese from http://www.crostamollica.com – though any decent sourdough bread thickly cut would do as well – toast. Slices leeks (lots!) and cook in generous amount of butter till sweet and soft, mix in handfuls of delicious Welsh blue cheese such as Perl Las (from Caw Cenarth as before). Top toast and enjoy!
Beer: There is one beer that leaps to mind when thinking of Wales and Rugby – Brains. Not only do they have a wide range of commercial beers of all variations – they also now have a range of bottle craft beers – ideal if you are watching the match at home. They also have a handy “find a Pub” option on their website – http://www.sabrain.com
Wine : Not that it’s that well known but Wales produces about 100,000 bottles a year! If you want to be really patriotic then you could go for a bottle of Sparkling from the oldest vineyard in Wales – http://www.glyndwrvineyard.co.uk
Alternatives: I cannot call them national drinks – but a special mention must be made for Penderyn distillery, who from the pure water of the Brecon Beacons, produce an admirable range of spirits. Look out for their Whisky aged in Madeira casks, or the Brecon Gins (especially the Botanicals Gin) – or to really fly the Welsh flag – their Welsh dragon range. http://www.welsh-whisky.co.uk