Departing from the sub-zero temperatures of the UK and flying the 6,000+ miles to a hot and sunny Cape Town to cheer the team on; it was a dirty job, but some of us had to do it!

It took several days to acclimatise to the fine weather and the inexpensive but excellent food and drink, to ensure that the collective voice of The Green Army was finely tuned and well lubricated (!) in time for our match against The Stormers at The Cape Town stadium.

The spaceship-like stadium stands against a backdrop of Table Mountain and is a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean, with the vibrant and bustling V&A Waterfront having many varied watering holes and dining experiences; the perfect spot for any self-respecting rugby supporters (and players?) to spend their downtime and for their pre-match preparations.

Our game-day experience was a little different to normal, watching the sea lions play in the harbour beforehand rather than the usual wildlife on the Thames.

The Stormers supporters and Capetonians were very welcoming and curious about London Irish, and many of us acquired Stormers flags as keepsakes (but which were replaced with London Irish flags on the poles provided for the match).

While the game didn’t go our way, we gave a good account of ourselves and had a unique rugby experience. A few of the more intrepid explorers amongst us ventured on safari seeking the ‘Big Five’ while others sought solace in the produce of the local wineries (a new personal best for me, 4 wineries visited in one day and 16 different wines tasted!).

 “By a lonely prison wall…”
Some of our travelling supporters at the Robben Island Prison Museum,
which housed many political prisoners including Mr Nelson Mandela.

While it is now back to reality in the UK with a bump, we have some lifelong memories of this fantastic location to look back on. I wonder whether the Stormers will feel the same after their visit to wintery London in January, although I’m sure we’ll be raising the temperature in the Gtech Stadium that night!