Former captain Ryan Jones believes the Wales squad have been given”a huge elevator” ahead of the Rugby World Cup, following 15,000 people queued to see their receptive training session in Kitakyushu.
Wales arrived in the stadium where they’re training from sailors, also are based at the southern Japanese town, which won’t host any matches during the tournament.
Warren Gatland’s team get their championship and Grand Slam winner Jones states the reception they’ve received will benefit the players.
“I have never experienced anything like this in my own career. It is astonishing and it’s been really emotional,” said Jones, who played for Wales in 2004-2014.
“It has been hosting a party. This afternoon, we got up and we were saying’oh, I hope it goes well and individuals will turn up’.
“Then to see the temptations and then to observe the gamers’ faces when they came out, it was just magical.
“It has exceeded all our expectations. Since the guys are just one week out from our game, and also to get an experience such as this brings it home how amazing an event it is, it’s great.
“It’ll give the players a huge lift. The fantasy was supposed to turn the town red and we’ve done .”
Jones, who helped build links between the Welsh Rugby Union and Kitakyushu, included:”When you look back to things in your career, setting this was magnificent.
“Viewing the players when they came in the welcome party the other night, and watching their faces , they did not comprehend it.
“They have not seen anything like this and they’ll remember it forever. I know we will return – and long may it last.”
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