Wales’ stunning grand slam success in the 2005 Six Nations was overshadowed by their poor showing in the 2006 tournament, perhaps not surprising with the sudden departure of coach Mike Ruddock and a long list of injuries. However, in key players like flanker Martyn Williams, centre Gavin Henson and skipper and fullback Gareth Thomas, Wales has the power to inflict serious damage on any side in the world. Beating Australia in November 2005 for the first time in 18 years, despite fielding an under-strength team, proves this young and extremely talented squad can never be underestimated. With more luck on the injury front and a string of confidence boosting victories over the coming months, the Dragons could soar to new heights on the back of passionate home support at the Millennium Stadium and beat the Wallabies in the pool stages of Rugby world Cup 2007 to springboard their dreams of winning the Webb Ellis trophy.
Brittany’s largest town, Nantes is the capital of the beautiful Pays-de-la-Loire region. Located on the largest of three islands in the Loire and near the Atlantic coast, it is blessed with excellent museums, golden beaches, many terrific seafood restaurants and fine wines including Muscadet, the perfect partner for sea-fresh oysters. It’s also a certified party town, as you’ll discover in the pubs and cafés along the place du Bouffay, place du Pilori and rue Kervagen. There’s a terrific live music scene in Nantes, covering everything from blues and jazz to rock and metal, as well as nightclubs running the gamut from vintage 1970s disco to the latest techno. Nantes’ intimate La Beaujoire Stadium, built in 1984 and renovated in 1998 to seat up to 38,285 spectators, is located in a peaceful suburban area with a few drinking spots outside.
In recent years Cardiff, Europe’s youngest capital city, has transformed itself into one of the UK’s most inviting cities. Historical highlights can be found in the numerous museums and castles, while there are many parks and gardens to explore including the 50-acre Dyfryn Gardens. Cardiff’s refurbished dockside area is Europe’s largest waterfront development and boasts panoramic views of the harbour, scenic promenades along the bay, sparkling shopping arcades, great bars, eateries, attractions that cater for all ages and even a hands-on science centre. Cardiff boasts many excellent restaurants and pubs, including the City Arms – a rugby supporter’s favourite and venue for spotting pop stars and celebrities. Seating 72,500 spectators, Cardiff’s atmospheric Millennium Stadium is the home of Welsh rugby and also one of the most high-tech stadiums in the world– equipped with a retractable roof and two interchangeable playing fields.
Additional coach pickup points for this game only:
Caernarfon, Bangor, Llandudno Jnuction, Rhyl, Mold, Wrexham, Shrewsbury