WALES rugby super-fans have spoken to the Argus about their time in France and why they are still loving life after Gatland’s men crashed out this weekend.

Lyndon Bigmore, 70, from Newport, travelled to France with friends Brian Counsell from Pontypool and Martin Brazell from Llanelli.

But Bigmore, a Newport RFC fan, will have become a familiar voice on the international stage having followed the national team at each of the last eight Rugby World Cup tournaments.

This year, he attended Wales’ games against Fiji, Portugal, Australia and Argentina – only skipping the Georgia fixture to celebrate his grandson’s birthday.

“I was at the Japan World Cup for his birthday last time!” Mr Bigmore said.

“The great thing about France is it’s relatively easy to go to from the UK. Two or three hours to anywhere on a plane, so you can go back and forth.

South Wales Argus: Fans outside the Stade de Marseille

“We stayed in Nice for nearly two weeks, then went to Lyon on the train. Now we’re in Montpellier. The trams are pretty good as well and we like to wander around town.

“It’s not new territory – we’ve been here before with the Dragons. Though sometimes, when you’ve had a bit to drink, you forget these places!”

The Welshmen have also given credit to the weather in France, where the bright blue skies seem to have only become overcast since Wales’ exit.

“We ended up walking the last half an hour to the stadium but there were hundreds of us – hundreds of fans walking in lovely sunshine,” Mr Bigmore said.

“You meet such great people with rugby, from all places – even the England fans. The French fans have latched onto whoever is playing the northern hemisphere sides.”

South Wales Argus: Wales and Argentina fans

Wales topped Pool C with a run that included a barnstorming 40-6 victory over Australia but fell to Argentina in the first knockout round.

“Sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and say we didn’t play well enough to win,” Mr Bigmore said. “It was the worst we played in the whole tournament. We were the masters of our own defeat.

“Look at Ireland v New Zealand and France v South Africa. They were absolutely outstanding games. Those four teams are head and shoulders above us and England.

"I don’t think England will do it against South Africa, and the way New Zealand are playing, I don’t think Argentina will do it either. I think it will be a southern hemisphere final!”