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Heads Held High

For those of us who are still feeling the pain of that fateful night in Auckland when fate conspired to rob Wales of a deserved World Cup Final place, this book serves as a reminder of the immense highs and lows we all experienced during the Autumn. -- gwladrugby.com

For two weeks in October, Wales held its breath. In the Rugby World Cup, with an influx of young players and probably the most exciting rugby played in the competition, Wales had negotiated a difficult qualifying group to reach a quarter final against an unbeaten Ireland side.

Ireland were despatched 22:10; next up was a France side which had misfired throughout the tournament. In New Zealand and at home, Wales believed: over 60,000 people watched the game at the Millennium Stadium. But injuries to key players, missed kicks, and the sending off of skipper Sam Warburton meant that Wales came up just short in a grippingly tense match they dominated. And defeat against Australia in their last game left Wales fourth. Yet this was still a time for celebration. Wales had lost to three of the world’s top sides by a collective margin of five points. It couldn’t have been closer, and the Wales squad could return home confident for the future and with their heads held high.

Max Boyce is a comedian, singer and cultural icon, closely associated with Wales’ national sport. Phil Bennett is one of Wales’ most famous fly-halves. He played for Llanelli, Wales, the Barbarians and the British Lions. He is now a television commentator and newspaper columnist.

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