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Samson Lee unfazed by talk of ghost sightings at Wales' World Cup hotel

Published 05/10/2015

Wales prop Samson Lee is unconcerned by reported ghostly goings-on at the team hotel
Wales prop Samson Lee is unconcerned by reported ghostly goings-on at the team hotel

Samson Lee has revealed talk of ghostly goings-on at Wales' 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 next 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 appointment with Scotland or Japan.

But defeat to Australia, and Wales' path looks set to be blocked by the imposing presence of twice World Cup winners South Africa.

The scrum contest will be a vital part of next Saturday's clash, and Lee said: "They have been working hard with their new forwards coach, Mario Ledesma, which has helped their scrum improve.

"They are just getting back to the basics in the scrum, and they're going really well at the moment.

"I would say the new scrum laws are up my street, but we've got to get our scrum right from last week (against Fiji).

"We improved from the England game, but Fiji have come on leaps and bounds and are really strong in that area. We've just got to work on our little things which are very fixable."

Wales' unbeaten run in Pool A has helped contribute to England's demise, with the host nation suffering their earliest World Cup exit in history.

And Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said: "It would be wrong to say we feel sorry for them because we are competing in the World Cup and we knew from the start that it would be a tough pool to come out of.

"We deserved it because we are three (wins) out of three.

"The one aspect that I will feel sorry for them, not that I read too much, is that I imagine they are coming under heat, press-wise. That's the stuff that isn't justified.

"It's a fine line. I know everybody had referred to the last penalty call (when Wales beat England 28-25) with regards to going to touch.

"I dare say if they (England) had gone for the three points and missed the penalty, then equally people would be shouting why didn't they go for the corner? There is no right or wrong."

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