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Sir Bryn ensures Welsh team is in harmony ahead of World Cup.

Byline: BEN JAMES Sports reporter ben.james@walesonline.co.uk

SINGING has always been a key component in Welsh rugby -none more so than in recent years under Warren Gatland.

The Wales coach has been keen on creating a bond in the squad by having the players sing together, whether that's been singing the Welsh folk song Lawr Ar Lan y Mor during the 2015 World Cup, or a variety of songs from the home nations during the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand.

And the 2019 World Cup will be no different.

The Welsh Rugby Union has released a video of the team's choir practise - led by none other than Welsh opera legend Sir Bryn Terfel.

The video shows the 53-year-old leading the team in renditions of Calon Lan and Lawr ar Lan y Mor - with fly-half Rhys Patchell even showing off his talents on the piano to accompany the boys.

Prop Wyn Jones is even given a solo spot in the latter song.

The Welsh team will be singing the two songs at their arrival ceremony in Japan, with Patchell and Alun Wyn Jones the choir leaders.

And it appears that their Japanese hosts are ready to return the favour.

A video has been posted online of a Japanese choir based in the city of Kitakyushi, where Wales will be based initially, singing the Welsh national anthem.

It's all part of their rehearsals as they prepare to welcome Alun Wyn Jones and his team-mates at their public training session at Mikuni World Stadium next Monday.

Locals are being encouraged to learn the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, and Calon Lan.

As well as the vocal efforts, airport staff have also been decked out in Welsh gear to welcome incoming fans.

Former Cardiff Blues and Wales full-back Rhys Williams, who works for the Welsh Rugby Union as business development manager, posted an image of the staff at Kitakyushu Airport wearing official Wales kit.

The Japanese city will host Warren Gatland's men when they arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun in the coming days and, as part of a engagement programme set up by the WRU, the place has been turned red in the build up to the Rugby World Cup.

Wales branding can be found on fire engines, postal vans and buses, while videos have emerged of locals parading through the streets wearing red and chanting their support for Wales.

Speaking about the project between the WRU and the city, Williams has previously said: "We have been blown away by the level of support and engagement in Kitakyushu, it has been phenomenal.

"Every emergency and post office vehicle in the city is displaying a sign of support for Wales at the World Cup and we have met thousands of locals, supporters and rugby fans who want to engage with the WRU and support the squad when we head over in September. We delivered engaging rugby sessions right across the board from mini rugby, senior rugby, to referees and coaches and it is really paying dividends for us."

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Sir Bryn coaching the Wales rugby squad before they leave for Japan

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 11, 2019
Words:526
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