A granny flipped me the bird on my first trip to Wales… but England can survive Dragons’ lair

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THERE is one crowd and one stadium in world rugby like no other in the world.

The passionate Welsh fans at the Principality Stadium are like nothing else you will hear or see on this planet.

A granny flipped me the bird on my first trip to Wales… but England can survive Dragons’ lairPA:Press Association3 James Haskell has recalled his harrowing first trip to Wales in 2007

And their intensity is magnified tenfold if you are silly enough to let them have the roof closed.

I made my debut there in the 2007 Six Nations against Wales and I had no idea what to expect. But nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to face.

Things did not start well for this 21-year-old, eager to get his first taste of international rugby.

Our bus journey to the stadium was as eventful as the game itself – the closer we got, the more the crowds started to build on the packed streets of Cardiff.

A granny flipped me the bird on my first trip to Wales… but England can survive Dragons’ lairGetty3 James Haskell has revealed he was flipped the bird by a granny 12 years ago

As soon as the crowd realised it was the England bus driving slowly past they got extremely animated and decided to give us a proper Welsh welcome.

We had the pantomime boos and jeers but what wasn’t so normal was the aggression. You see this kind of passion boiling over in football, but generally not in our game.

Bottles, cans and Big Macs were all launched at the bus. I remember staring out of the window thinking, "Nobody told me about this being part of playing for England!"

It was then I caught the eye of a nice old granny, who was manically waving at the bus. I decided to wave back to thank the kind lady for her support.

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