31 January 2006
England diary from Wellington - Luke Narraway
We left Heathrow on Sunday at 2pm and didn't arrive here in Wellington until about 10am this morning (Tuesday) so its a pretty long journey. I managed to get some sleep from LA to Auckland but its still tiring travelling all that way and I am feeling fairly tired now. I watched a few episodes of Lost on the plane and from LA a few of us got the bulk head seats so the leg room wasn't too bad.
This is my first trip to New Zealand and my first impressions of Wellington are that it is quite small for a capital city. I guess I was expecting it to be like London but everyone is friendly and the weather has been good.
After a quick lunch at the hotel after arriving we went for a walk around the harbour to get some fresh air and stretch our legs. Then this afternoon we went to a local gym for a spinning class. It was good and not too hard as I think the instructor felt sorry for us having been on a plane for 28 hours!
The food at the hotel is exceptional - loads of fresh fish and loads of choice. We are all struggling to stay awake this evening but we need to try and last till about 10pm otherwise we won't shake off the jet lag. I am rooming with Ollie Phillips from Newcastle which is good fun and he is a good bloke although he doesn't shut up! It could be an interesting couple of weeks with him!!
Quite a few of the players in the squad have played here before and warn us to expect a very hostile crowd. There are 30,000 New Zealand fans in the Westpac Stadium and they all cheer for everyone except for England. I would rather have 30,000 people against you than no-one watching at all and if the atmosphere is good then it doesn't matter if they are cheering for you or not. I am really looking forward to seeing what it is like!