Things you need to understand if you’re an English fan living in Wales
Make sure to cover up the red rose on your shirt
It’s Saturday afternoon, you’ve just sat down with your mates, got a great table with prime viewing and drinks in hand. England are playing.
You look up to the screen to find the anthems are being played and you want to sing your heart out as you burst with pride and excitement to watch your team play in the best rugby tournament in the world. But you’re English, and this is Wales.
Don’t cheer too enthusiastically
Kick off – you’re leaning forward in your seat, you don’t want to miss a second of the action. You’ve waited a year for this and even longer for crowds to line the thousands of seats ahead of you, and you’re cheering. Just remember to tone it down a bit or ensure you’re surrounded by the tons of English students here for uni.
The intensity of the match is almost too much- you’ve got players on the ground injured, multiple penalties just given away, and its not looking good. Somehow they’ve found a space, they break free and charge for the line… The tension releases and you can’t help but smile as you cheer as loud as you can. Oops, mistake number one has been made. Prepare to face a glare or an eye-roll from all your not-English mates.
What have you done? You look around at all the faces, deafened by the boos and hissing as your mates rise their hands in disappointment and disbelief. You sink back in your chair and return to your glass. Shots are the way forward.
Nobody will be singing ‘God Save The Queen’
As the scoreboard evens in your favour, you can’t help but feel excited. Could you win this? Could this match be the one? Are you going to walk away with the maximum? But a handling error sees your fist slam down on the table.
Your friends stand and cheer as your opponents dive across the try line. Welsh attempts to sing the opposing team’s national anthems scream out around you and you once again feel deflated.
You’re not getting any sympathy from those not from England
You raise your hands in disbelief as the ref raises his your oppositions way, giving them a scrum, then another, and a couple of free-kicks too. With every line out and penalty taken you tense with anticipation, wishing the wind to blow one way or other – so your team could carry themselves to victory while others just kick themselves.
You wish you could be there in person, to join in the chorus as Sweet Chariot fills the stadium – the Mexican wave unbroken as it plays out, the words bringing tears to your eyes and a new found sense of energy as you slide towards the edge of your seat.
But alas England are beaten and the room around you erupts as the final whistle blows. Friends jump out of seats, drinks jump out of glasses and glasses jump out of hands as your ears burst with a cacophony of cheers. Next match will have to either be watched in the safety of your home or with others in the same boat. After all, there’s safety in numbers.