WOW! It’s all come around so quickly and the most important rugby event in the world is literally around the corner. As with all exciting events in life, the lead up seemed to take so long and we felt that the day would never come. Then, in a blink of an eye, it’s Game On!
On Tuesday (15 September) I had my first day at work in Gloucester with a day of orientation both at the Fleet depot and out and about in the gleaming Land Rover Discovery’s that are the official vehicles for the tournament. Very nice they are too-
A thorough briefing on the day to day running of the Fleet Depot preceeded the orientation drives around the surrounding area getting used to likely routes we will have to use to and from official hotels, public transport hubs and, of course, the Stadium at Kingsholm. Lots to get used to and even a decent amount of local knowledge didn’t help, as much of the area surrounding the stadium will be turned into a pedestrian zone meaning that we have to use very specific routes in and out of the venue. Some fun was had when practicing radio communication with the base and one group had managed to tune theirs into the wrong frequency meaning they were chatting away to the London Depot instead of Gloucester – no wonder they were met with confused responses from the dispatchers back at base! Better to iron out these problems before we have anyone important on board.
Talking of important people….. who will be our clients? The list is long and varied from Match Officials to former winning Captains and Managers, Citing Commissioners to senior members of World Rugby (the IRB as was) and Directors of the RWC2015 sponsors to, even, members of the International Olympic Committee. So some very influential and important ‘players’ in the world of Rugby. Best be on my best behavior then!
There will be no such thing as a ‘normal day’ as our shifts can start as early as 04:00 and end as late as 01:30, We can work within a 3 hour driving radius (which from Gloucester brings London, Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter and Birmingham into play – amonst other cities) and who knows who we will be carrying around.
Personally I have 32 shifts between now and 4 November and, I suspect, that will increase. I will work out of Gloucester and London (Covering Olympic park, Wembley and, of course, Twickenham) and I can’t wait until we ‘go live’ on Friday where we will be involved in all the Captains Run activities for the Tonga V Georgia match.
So, all the volunteers are ready to go and will be doing everything we can to make this the best ever World Cup, are you?
What are your predictions for the tournament? Which teams will spring a surprise and who will raise their profile in World Rugby as Argentina did in 2007?
Group A – Winners England, 2nd Australia
Group B – Winners South Africa, 2nd Scotland
Group C – Winners New Zealand, 2nd Argentina
Group D – Winners Ireland, 2nd France
Quarter Final 1 Australia will beat South Africa
Quarter Final 2 New Zealand will beat France
Quarter Final 3 Ireland will beat Argentina
Quarter Final 4 England will beat Scotland
Semi Final 1 New Zealand will beat Australia
Semi Final 2 England will beat Ireland
Final New Zealand will beat England