Mane men: Steve Chaves, left, and Tony Dunseath. Photo: James AlcockWhat’s the collective noun for the fans of the Lions rugby tour? A pride perhaps?
Whatever it is, they gathered early for Saturday night’s fixture against the Waratahs, confident their success would be unbroken.
But spare a thought for Lions supporters such as Steve.
It’s not so much that they’re a long way from home. It’s not even that their team has been accused of cheating – for non-rugby fans, something technical to do with pushing upwards in the scrummage.
What is really hurting is the exchange rate and the cost of an important feature of their pre-match social engagement, a beer.
Steve Chaves from London knows about exchange rates because he’s an accountant.
He got off the plane on Saturday morning with his wife Gina and it wasn’t too long before he was making some purchases at a bottle shop on Oxford Street.
The last time the Lions toured in 2001 just 37p would buy a dollar. Now it takes rather more at 61p.
”I think 50p to the dollar would be more like it,” he said.
”We have spent £3000 [$4924] already on airfares and rugby tickets. I think it will add up to about £10,000,” he said.
And there’s also the cost of the lion suit to take into account – purchased online for £50.
Gina said: ”They tried to get me in one but it’s far too cold for that – there’s less coverage with the female version.”
He predicted the Lions would win all three Test games, ”no question”.
At least if he’s right about the result, he won’t go home with his tail between his legs.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.