Rugby fans turned out in their droves to meet the biggest stars of the British and Irish Lions squad in Colwyn Bay.
More than 1,500 spectators filled the stands and grounds at Parc Eirias on Wednesday, August 14, and Thursday, August 15, to watch Lions’ player of the tour Leigh Halfpenny, top try scorer Alex Cuthbert and captain Sam Warburton train at the grounds with their regional club, the Cardiff Blues.
North Wales Development Region General Manager Rupert Moon was thrilled with the event.
He said: “It’s outstanding. It’s great to see them here - you can’t get much further away from Cardiff than here within Wales.
“I know the Chair and the Chief Executive of the Blues are thrilled, as well as the players, who are overwhelmed by the reception they’ve had.
“I think it’s crucial that North Wales has an opportunity to demonstrate their passion for the game.
“They love sport here - they love football; they love athletics.
“But there is a very hard core of rugby supporters who come out in their droves for RGC, certainly for Wales Under 20s and now, as they’ve demonstrated, for the Cardiff Blues as well.”
The £6.5 million Parc Eirias centre, home of North Wales rugby region RGC 1404, is aimed to give rugby players in the North a better pathway into professional rugby.
Mr Moon added: “The development of the facilities here in eirias was about talent development, about having elite athletes coming through the system.
“To have some of the best here and use these facilities and feel at home in them it give everyone a warm glow.
“It’s outstanding to see them talk so passionately about what we’ve got here.”
Cardiff Blues head coach Phil Davies was impressed with the facilities in Colwyn Bay.
He said: “The facilities here are outstanding and when you see them in such fantastic condition it’s superb.
“It’s a great turnout here and it’s fantastic to see.
“We have a small population in North Wales so the more people we get to play Rugby the better.”