What makes Rugby and Twickenham special?
It could easily be argued that there hasn’t been a better occasion to go to Twickenham than at the England v Wales weekend and, thanks to the fantastic people at Barbour, rugbystore.co.uk had the opportunity to do so.
The most anticipated game of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. England versus Wales. St. George versus the Dragon.
As the sun was setting the sky was the colours of gold and fire, a sign of things to come perhaps. Inside the ground the lucky 80,000 that had gotten tickets where both a mixture of excited and nervous.
The Build Up
Some fans were talking loudly about the statistics of England and Wales previous meetings at Twickenham, others were exclaiming how eager they were to see Burgess go up against Roberts amongst other similar talk. The atmosphere was friendly though. Fans of each side were taking selfies with each other in front of giant hashtags, team buses and other famous parts of the stadium. England fans were joking with Welsh fans about injuries, whilst the Welsh fans retorted with jokes about the average age of the England squad and similar. England fans were joking with Welsh fans about injuries, whilst the Welsh fans retorted with jokes about the average age of the England squad
England fans were joking with Welsh fans about injuries, whilst the Welsh fans retorted with jokes about the average age of the England squad
With half an hour to go it was time to take our seats in the corner of the east and south stands, second tier up, in line with the deadball line. Luckily this would be the only side to see either team get a try; May in the first half and Davies between the posts after the break.
If the atmosphere outside the stadium had been exciting inside it was nothing short of electric! The sound of the 80,000 started as a murmur and slowly got louder and louder until the stadium exploded into shouts, whistles and chants of ‘Wales, Wales, Wales’ and ‘England, England, England’ as the teams were welcomed to the pitch.
Even during the anthems the sound was incredible, but as soon as the whistle blew to begin the game the crowd went quiet, as if to draw in a long breath, before erupting into a deafening rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. The spirit of the game was on display all around the stadium
The spirit of the game was on display all around the stadium
The spirit of the game was on display all around the stadium; from the Royals in the VIP seats to the couple sat next to us; one with a St. Georges cross on his cheek and his partner with a Welsh dragon on hers. Both were cheering when their team scored and jeering when the other team scored as expected but both were clapping and cheering good play, clapping off injured players and welcoming on their replacements regardless of which team it was for. The fans in the stadium were not just supporting their teams but also the game of Rugby Union itself.
This was clear to see outside the stadium too. English and Welsh fans were chatting to each other over a pint about whether England should have gone for the three points or kick into the corner, whether the injuries for the Welsh and English would hinder the teams’ future performance in the coming weeks or whether or not England and Wales would get past Australia.
This is what we think makes the sport so great; unlike other sports it ultimately doesn’t matter whose jersey you are wearing and what the score was when the whistle blew. It’s about enjoying some great sport and some great sportsmanship on and off the pitch.