Thursday, 20 June 2013

There are Lions in Brisbane

Queensland Reds v British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane June 2013
Excitement is mounting....the anticipation is akin to waiting for Christmas!

The British and Irish Lions are finally here.

Every 4 years a team of rugby players made up of Welsh, English, Scottish and Irish travel to tour the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in turn. They then play in a three test series against the home nation. The Lions also play a number of  local provinces, clubs or representative sides during the tour. This means that they arrive on Australian soil once every 12 years. It's a big thing...

When you're a Brit living in Australia it's like a little bit of home coming to see you. 

We have been looking forward to this tour for a while now. You may recall that I set the alarm for a 1am wake up call way back in December when I was over in the UK in order to get some pre sale tickets. Then the dates were marked in the calendar months ago in red ink. Plans have been made for get togethers with friends and family prior to the games - it's been a big operational task let me tell you. Beds have been booked out in this house and the no-vacancy sign has been put up!

A couple of Saturdays ago a game was played in Brisbane against the Queensland Reds and we had a house full. It was great fun. 

Brisbane City provide free transport to the stadium and the bus was full of fans wearing either the red jerseys of the Lions or the red jerseys of the Queensland team - a little confusing but very red!

My little Sibs was a dual supporter that night - wearing her Queensland cap, her Queensland top under her Welsh rugby jersey, her Welsh scarf and waving a British and Irish flag! She really got into the spirit of the game.

Despite the drizzle and the later downpour it was a great match and the home crowd were the noisiest that I have ever heard. The atmosphere was great and bodes well for the first test match this Saturday. 

So as the first game against the Wallabies looms we are preparing for a weekend of company.

Brisbane is expecting around 30,000 British and Irish fans to descend on the city. I was on the fringes of the city centre today and saw a group of supporters with their familiar red jerseys with 'supporters' backpacks on their shoulders. They had big smiles on their faces as they were taking in the lovely Botanical Gardens. 

I feel very fortunate to be a part of this. 

Can't wait for Saturday.