-: Oct 21, 2019 / Ustshahli Ustshahli

Hadleigh Parkes column: World Cup quarter-final v France and naked onsens


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In his BBC Sport column, Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes reveals the way his team-mates have shot into Japans naked sexy springs and looks forward to Sundays World Cup quarter-final against France.
I have to pinch myself that Im playing in a World Cup quarter-final, and also this Sundays game against France is up there with the biggest matches of my career.
If we win in Oita we know well be planning with a opportunity to Yokohama.
We All know what is at stake. We continue on to Yokohama for final and the semi-finals and beat a difficult French side – and we are going to be flying back into Wales on Monday.
You just need to keep winning and winning and there is a huge carrot in the end of it all. It is so exciting.
Its wonderful to be here at the eight and were really hoping we can be there at the previous four.
As have my brother Greg and his wife Hayley, my parents, Bill and Janet, have begun to observe.
It is mums birthday on Friday and if all goes against France, Ill have my 2 other brothers coming out next week, and its going to be my parents 40th wedding anniversary week. So thats more incentive to play!
It was not anything too severe, although I took a bit of a hit to my shoulder in the win over Uruguay, the shoulders good and everything appears to be okay, just a couple niggles.
Sometimes with injuries you wont catch some for ages and then other times you receive a couple of unique niggles simultaneously – such as I have had at the World Cup using the cracked bone in my hand along with the shoulder – and its simply about trying to handle them.
My body is feeling good and its just a case of making sure I do everything to maintain the perfect shape to this match.
I said in an earlier column that I got called Robocop when I had the strapping on distinct pieces of the human body.
That only started with a single comment from Ross Moriarty however, now I have mentioned it I have been getting grief from the other lads.
Every now and then the lads will create a comment in my columns, but I am just glad theyre being read by them. It adds to the numbers!
There is certainly not as much happening in Oita than the other, bigger cities such as Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto. It is more of a silent, beachy type place with holidaymakers here the Japanese hot springs, for its onsens.
The onsens appear to be the huge attraction in nearby and Oita Beppu, where we had been staying to the Fiji game.
The difference between the ones and those springs which that you might see elsewhere in the world is that Japanese convention dictates which, in onsens, youve got to be naked.
The boys started off in the onsens using their shorts on, they then got down to their own smugglers and everyones in the nude.
The boys are embracing it. Its something you are not used to and a bit different, but it is the culture out here. Its the way.
A few onsens are a bit nicer than other people and there are a couple of boys who are enjoying them.
That is a nice area and weve had a few wins from Uruguay at Kumamoto, against Fiji at Oita and around here.
Were back in Oita, itd be great if we can get a triumph in this town in Sundays big match against the French.
We understand how hard it is going to be away from them theyve got some boys, some individuals and a lot of talent.
As a group, you dont want to be chomping at the bit too early in the week. You are able to end up overhyped, then all of a sudden you are coming back and then you need to get yourself.
So it is about building nicely, training well, ticking off the boxes that you just tick off, a couple of meetings, a couple walk-throughs and the boys can talk to each other to go through what we want out of the coaching sessions and also to take into the game.
The start of the week is getting prepared and also the conclusion of the week is all about finalising, making certain everythings set up.
Its wonderful to unwind prior to the match. The boys will go for a coffee and watch the two Saturday quarter-finals at our resort.
You dont need to play the game on your heads so once you awaken on the morning of the match, that is when you begin to construct and get excited.
I do have a pattern on match days. Ill get up, have breakfast and after that it is only a matter of relaxing during the morning over a coffee with the boys, or even the family if they are around.
Then weve got the dinner, that is similar weeks, then Ill have a shower, get strapped up at the team hotel and then were on the bus.
It is a fair distance to the scene from our resort here so, seeing as it is a ride , when you are on the bus you dont need to get hyped.
Youre relaxed at that point. Driving up to the stadium exciting and then you get into it using the warm-up.
Then its the game. It is always great to pull that jersey, and also to perform it will be special.
Hadleigh Parkes spoke to BBC Sport Wales Dafydd Pritchard.
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