THERE is not much – if anything – that unites the Welsh public as much as the Six Nations.
From when the squad is first announced, to the last kick of the final game, the whole country is united as one behind Warren Gatland’s men. But what is it that we love so much?
We’ve spoken to councillors, one man who’s been there, and the public who’ll be supporting the boys tomorrow to find out what it is about the Six Nations that makes us feel proud.
Allt-yr-yn councillor Matthew Evans feels the event signals the start of a new dawn. “I love the Six Nations and am a passionate supporter,” he said. “I’m always confident Wales can win but I love the tournament as it signals the first sign of spring.”
Graham Price, 52, ex-Welsh International, from Pontypool, said: “The Six Nations is special due to the fact you’re competing against other nations that are close to you. If you look at the Autumn Tests the stadium wasn’t full.
“But tomorrow and every game at the Millennium Stadium will be sold out as we love the Six Nations, it means so much to us.”
Lliswerry Cllr Allan Morris believes victory can lift the spirit of the nation.
“No other participating nation can start a match hearing their national anthem sung with as much passion as the Welsh,” he said
“It’s like Christmas Eve in here,” said Jon Thomas, owner of the Lamb Pub in Newport City Centre. “The atmosphere is electric and it picks peoples spirits up and gives us something to celebrate.”
“We love all of it from start to finish,” said friends Claire Stroud and Sue James, from Rogerstone.
“The build up to to the Six Nations to the games, it’s a really good event that brings the nation together.
“It puts a smile on people’s faces like it did last year when we won it and everyone comes together to watch it socially which is brilliant. We can’t wait for it to begin.”
Neil Wise, 34, from Pontypool said: “I love the Six Nations and having a few beers with my mates while watching the Welsh rugby team win. It’s a great event and one that I can’t wait to begin.”
So with councillors, ex-players, shopkeepers, landlords and the whole of the public on the edge of their seats waiting for the Six Nations to start, it is up to the 15 on the pitch to deliver.
Gwent is behind you boys. Come on Wales!