LONDON, 27 Sept – Romania’s match against Ireland might not have gone their way on Sunday, but for one player there was a very happy ending after the 44-10 defeat.
Replacement Florin Surugiu gave his girlfriend Alexandra the most romantic of birthday presents. He proposed to her on the pitch at Wembley Stadium, surrounded by his teammates. And luckily, she said yes.
Surugiu said he had dreamt up the proposal when he first found out that Romania would be playing Ireland on 27 September.
"It's her birthday and being at Wembley was a very good opportunity to make it special," he told reporters after the match.
Surugiu canvassed opinion from his fellow players as to whether it was a good idea. They agreed, but when coach Lynn Howells found out before the match he was less than convinced.
“I tried to advise him not to,” Howells said. “It’s probably too romantic for me but I’m sure for her it was very romantic.”
The Oaks’ opposition were complimentary about Romania’s tenacity on the field, and also about Surugiu’s courage afterwards. Ireland second row Donnacha Ryan said: “I think he had a rush of blood to the head – fair play to him, he’s a brave man.”
LOVE CONQUERS ALL
Surugiu said Alexandra, who is an accountant, had come to accept his career as a rugby player over the five years they had been dating.
“Even though in the beginning she thought it was a sport like any other sport, now she came to realise that it's a very special and different sport,” he explained. “She's always in the stands."
The couple plan to marry next year, when Surugiu gets a break from rugby. So despite the 44-10 scoreline against Romania, there was definitely one player walking out of Wembley with a spring in his step and a broad grin on his face.