Kathryn's Second Week As Press Operations at The Rugby World Cup In Cardiff

By Kathryn Slade New Zealand vs Georgia Rugby World Cup 2015

I am back at Bluestone after my 2nd lot of shifts at the Millennium Stadium. What a week it was to be involved in the Rugby World Cup! There was plenty of action and some must win games for the home nations.

It was a busy start for the Press Operations team with Wales playing at the Millennium Stadium on Thursday. Even at 10am when I was on my way to the stadium there were lots of Welsh shirts around the capital as well as big groups of Fijians! As with all the games so far there was a great party atmosphere in the capital with all supporters getting into the spirit of the tournament together.

This week I moved from the Press Work Room to the Press Tribune team. This role involves looking after the Press Boxes during the game and making sure that the journalists and broadcasters have everything that they need. There was a lot of media interest in the Welsh game after they beat England at Twickenham the week before so there were a lot of extra journalists and photographers to look after!

Before the game I helped make sure the Press Boxes were tidy and that the seats were labelled correctly. The press can arrive from 9 in the morning but seeing as it was a 4:45pm kick off most arrived around midday. Being in the Millennium Stadium when it is empty of fans is quite an experience as the building itself seems to live for the games.

Millennium Stadium Cardiff

When the journalists were ready to go to their seats I helped direct them from the Media Centre up to the Press Box and along to their seats. The excitement in the stadium was growing with every minute before kick-off and I was lucky enough to be in the stadium for most of the game. As a volunteer we are meant to remain impartial. That is much easier said than done when your country are playing in a must win game! I think I managed quite well and I only let myself down once when I clapped a little bit too enthusiastically! It was a good result for was winning 23-13 over Fiji but it meant that Australia had to beat England on Saturday for Wales’ World Cup dreams to stay alive.

After the game I helped with the post match conference. It’s a very intense 10 minutes passing the microphones around to the waiting journalists. It was the second time that I had been lucky enough to work on a Fijian press conference and they are always great to work with. The Welsh press conference was interesting and there were a lot of questions about whether the team would be wearing Gold for Australia on the Saturday!  Sam Warburton had a brilliant game as usual and commented about how exhausting the game was because of the physical nature of the Fijians.

When the questions were finished I went down to help in the mixed zone. Here journalists are allowed to interview the players for TV and radio. Each team has to send 10 players down to the mixed zone and my job was to make sure that the players were happy during interviews. Watching the news in the evening I was surprised to see myself on the shoulder of Dan Biggar during his interview!

On Friday there was another busy day at the stadium with the current World Champions New Zealand taking on Georgia in another exciting game. There were a lot of All Black supporters in Cardiff when I was on my way to work and a lot of people who had adopted Georgian colours for the day.  It was the first late kick off of the tournament in Cardiff at 8pm which meant the excitement before the game seemed to go on forever. I got to go out into the streets before the stadium opened to the supporters and the streets were packed. There were groups of people doing the Haka and lots of singing before the crowds parted to allow the team buses to come down Westgate Street. It’s always great to see the buses arriving and the Georgians were happily waving to the crowds in the street. The Fanzone in Cardiff Arms Park was equally busy with lots of people wanting to experience the game day fun!

Georgia Rugby World Cup Team Bus

New Zealand Rugby Team Bus at Millennium Stadium

There was another mix of journalists in the press room today with a lot of different languages being spoken! I even got to use a little bit of Russian to help a journalist from Georgia. I was lucky enough to watch the famous Haka from the Press Box and as always it was an amazing sight. The All Blacks played with their usual grace and style but the Georgians put up a good fight too. The way that New Zealand played I wouldn’t be surprised if they won back to back titles!

New Zealand and Georgia National Anthems at Millennium Stadium

On Saturday the Welsh focus was on Twickenham for England’s clash with Australia. It was a thrilling encounter and thanks to the result Wales are safely through to the Quarter Finals! The game against Australia on Saturday will decide who plays Scotland or South Africa at Twickenham the week after. It is shaping up to be another brilliant week of Rugby World Cup action!

On resort at Bluestone The Knights Tafarn is showing all of the games live so you can enjoy the action with a drink and a tasty snack too!  

Categories:Events and Whats On, Staff

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There are less than 4 days left before the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off! I am particularly excited because I will be volunteering at the Millennium Stadium on match days. I am a lover of all things rugby and will be cheering on Wales when I have the chance. Over the next few weeks I will be blogging about my volunteering experience but to spark some excitement here are some fun facts and figures about the Rugby World Cup!

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I am back at Bluestone now having completed my first few shifts as a Press Operations Volunteer at the Rugby World Cup! The journey to be part of ‘The Pack’ has been long but very exciting.

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