Wales are in Pool C with an equally lacklustre Australia but with ebullient Fiji, solid Georgia and exciting Portugal – Wales might just be in the Pool with the most surprise results – and not necessarily in their favour. 

Despite having been at the Autumn Series England Vs Wales at the Principality stadium, watching their home win (admittedly over a dire English performance), there is not a huge amount that reassures me about Wales’ team as they go into this, their ninth RWC tournament. Their highest finishing position in the RWC was finishing third (back in 1987!) After their defeat 52 – 16 by South Africa this August, Coach Warren Gatland will be looking for some improvement from his team – he has promised in interviews something special in the RWC so expectations are high! 

With their lowest ever ranking of 10th going into a RWC, Wales need a boost of confidence. But this is still Wales – and there are some awesome players in the team – four of them with over 100 caps apiece. On paper Wales are a lot stronger than recent matches have shown so it’s all down to cohesion and delivery on the day. Their match against Fiji on 10th September could see some fireworks on the pitch!

Overall, with three teams in the pool who have everything to prove against the more established yet underperforming teams of the Wallabies and Wales – Pool C promises for some of the most exciting matches in the RWC.

Co -Captains: Dewi Lake & Jac Morgan

Player to Watch: The brilliant Leigh Halfpenny – a world class player and they will be hoping for points from his accurate kicking.   

To find out more about Welsh Rugby:

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What to Eat & Drink whilst watching the Dragons

Food: There has been a real foodie revolution in Wales over the last few decades – and today there is a wide range of great local produce to choose such as delicious Black Welsh Lamb, to a cornucopia of smoked goodies such as duck and salmon from or traditional morish Welsh cakes from these great guys in Cardiff Market

One of the classic foods is of course laver bread, but it’s an acquired taste.  Add to potato cakes like fritters – ideal with a match day fry up! Available online (and with useful recipes)

A great match day idea would be a Welsh Cheese Board – there are some outstanding artisanal producers across the principality so you can either order directly from them or visit the brilliant Welsh Cheese Company They have an incredibly tempting range of Welsh cheeses – from 15 different cheese producers. Below are just a few of my favourites:

Teifi Halloumi – From Caws Teifi who apparently are the most highly awarded artisan cheesemaker in Britain!). Welsh Halloumi I hear you say? And why not – this one is delicious for sliced and pan fried – perhaps on a grain salad from a slightly healthier take on match day food!

Celtic Promise – from Caws Teifi. Originally a Caerphilly, the rind is washed twice a week for seven weeks for its distinctive aroma. 

Golden Cenarth – from Caws Cenarth. Multi award winning, a semi soft cheese washed with cider. Is great baked in the oven for dipping!

Hafod – Think of a cheddar style but with bags of flavour and character. Delicious on its own but is perfect for cheese toasties on match day (spread inside the bread with apple chutney first!)  

Brefu Bach – Unpasteurised sheep’s cheese from the foothills of Snowdonia. Soft and sweet with delicate texture. The name means little bleat. 

Dragon’s Breath Cheddar – For those who like a bit of a kick – chilli cheddar made with Brains beer & whole grain chilli mustard.

Perl Las – Irresistible blue cheese (blue pearl in Welsh), its creamy texture, salty and long finish make it a great choice on the chessboard, in a salad or melted onto a steak baguette!

Teifi Smoked Caerffili – Cold smoked over Welsh Oak. A Caerphilly with lovely crumbly texture with smokiness. Delicious with pears on the cheeseboard.

As a nod to the many Italians that moved to South Wales, you could also offer an antipasto of mixed charcuterie – but all made from traditional breeds in Monmouthshire, including their awesome fennel salami or wild boar – truly delicious!

It would not be Welsh if leeks did not appear somewhere – so for perfect match day food – why not a twist of cheese on toast.  Slices leeks (lots!) and cook in generous amounts of butter till sweet and soft, mix in handfuls of delicious Welsh blue cheese such as Perl Las (from Caw Cenarth as above). Take pugliese bread – ( – available in supermarkets) – though any decent sourdough bread thickly cut would do as well  – and toast.  Top toast with leeks and enjoy! 


Beer:  There is one beer that leaps to mind when thinking of Wales and Rugby – Bains.  Not only do they have a wide range of commercial beers of all variations including the Dark Ale, brewed since the 1920s. – they also now have a range of bottle craft beers – ideal if you are watching the match at home.

But do look out for beer the growing band of small brewers such as the brilliant VOG of Barry – as they say about themselves: “Brewing Banging Beers in Barrifornia, mostly cask & keg”

Great indie beers with fun names such as the Cask range named after Top Gun Characters or the OF&H Inspired “This time next year Rodney”

Wine : Not that it’s that well known but Wales has over 70 hectares of vineyards – that’s about 70 Rugby Pitches! 

Near Abergavenny is, where Robb & Nicola Merchant are making some lovely wines, including their Pinot Noir Precoce Reserve.

Or look out for the white wine Solaris from, who have 3 000 vines in North Wales.

If you’d like to find more vineyards of Wales, there is a producer listing on 

Alternatives: For those who prefer a G&T in hand whilst cheering on the team, Wales has a host of tempting Gins – look out for : Da Mhile Seaweed Gin – Infused with seaweed and triple filtered – intriguing burst of salinity.

FWYR Pinwydd Gin – From the Gower with Pink peppercorns, cranberry & Orange Zest Botanicals.

Aber Falls Marmalade Gin – Bring out your inner Paddington!

Above available direct from producers or have a great selection.