As if the prospect of confronting the red-hot Wallabies is not daunting enough, Wales prop Samson Lee has revealed talk of ghostly goings-on at the Welsh team’s World Cup hotel in Surrey.
The 19th Century Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge is known for tales regarding sightings of the so-called “grey lady” in a crinoline dress, while room 1313 on the hotel’s third floor has a history of guests reporting extreme temperature changes and the feeling of a “presence”.
The hotel, which dates back to 1856, stands on the site of the Tudor royal palaces of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
“A few boys think they’ve seen a ghost, but I’m not sure they actually have,” Wales prop Lee said. “I think it’s best to stay away from room 1313.
“It has been discussed over food and stuff like that, and (flanker) Dan Lydiate isn’t happy about it.
“He actually thinks he’s seen a ghost, but I think he’s dreaming.”
And back-row forward James King added: “Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau have said they’ve seen a couple of ghosts, but I haven’t seen any.
“I am sure a few of the boys are playing a few pranks, like hiding in the cupboards. But fingers-crossed, I haven’t seen any ghosts yet.”
Any cheerful paranoia about the paranormal, though, will certainly not hinder preparations for Saturday’s World Cup Pool A decider against Australia at Twickenham, with Welsh spirits high after booking a last-eight place.
Unbeaten Wales know that victory over the Wallabies – a feat they have not accomplished since 2008 – would see them progress as top seeds and into a probable quarter-final with either Scotland or Japan.
Defeat to Australia will set Wales on the path of two-time World Cup winners South Africa.
But first they will have to overcome the “sightings” of ghosts at their team hotel!