Like every other proud Welshman, I cannot tell yo how excited I am about the game on Thursday at the Millennium stadium. Not just because it is promised to be a very exciting game with great importance, but because I have had the pleasure of meeting each and every player from both Wales and Fiji teams.
My tailoring services have been called upon by both World Cup National Squads as part of their preparations. Me and my team, working with both clothing sponsors, T M Lewin and Eden Park, have shouldered the responsibility of ensuring all players and managements are well dressed with perfectly fitting garments.
Wales have gone with a formal look choosing a 100% wool and mohair 2 piece navy suit, white shirt and specially designed tie. This is typically what they choose every year and they always look great, but this season the suit is exceptional. I love the feel of the cloth and the cut is the best fit they’ve had to date, requiring minimal alterations this time. Overall, the look is modern due to the slim fit, but the wool give it a hint of the tradition which I think is charming.
Fiji is a much smaller country with about 1 million people. That’s only double the populations of Cardiff. with a tropical climate they would have no use for such a formal look, and chose to go with something I think is more representative of their personalities, mixing colourful green chinos and black blazer. Fun, but must be taken seriously. They are a very spiritual nation and that came across the instance we met them, treating us with the utmost respect and gratitude. They have been away from home since July and many of them were missing their wives, children and family. We came away from the fitting thinking what beautiful people they are.
Attending fitting sessions for Wales ahead of carrying out the alterations is very exciting and we always feel privileged to be involved. It would be easy to get star struck when you come face to face with these sporting figures, but there is a job to do and we take it very seriously. It wouldn’t be appropriate to become over familiar with the team, so conversation is always minimal and courteous. This doesn’t mean that we don’t get a feel for their personalities. In fact many of them are very engaging, remembering us from previous visits and will happily chat away.
So you see. of course I want Wales to win, and will be cheering them on from my seat in the Canton Cross Pub. But I will also have emotion for Fiji, win or loose.