HONEYSUCKLE has been transformed into a little Britain ahead of the arrival of thousands of British and Irish Lions fans in Newcastle.
The ‘‘Lions Den’’ will be a welcoming sight for the 8000 rugby fans who have booked out the city’s hotel rooms.
Hogs Breath Cafe will be offering homesick tourists specialties like steak and Guinness pie, fish and chips, and Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding.
The restaurant will even be selling Foster’s beer – a common sight in the UK but now very difficult to come by in Australia.
Newcastle City Council major tourism events planner Mark Stratford said shuttle buses would run between Honeysuckle and Hunter Stadium for the game on Tuesday night.
‘‘We want to create a great atmosphere for our [city],’’ Mr Stratford said.
Tickets are still available for the match between the Lions and a combined NSW and Queensland country team.
While the waterfront precinct might be welcoming for the travelling fans, match organisers are encouraging locals to make the Hunter Stadium atmosphere more hostile for the touring Lions players.
Local fans are being urged to wear the orange, black and blue of the country side.
Bus, rail boosted for game
- Sam Rigney
EXTRA bus and rail services have been added to cater for a mass of rugby fans expected to converge on Hunter Stadium on Tuesday to watch the touring British and Irish Lions take on Combined Country.
A Transport Management NSW spokesman said extra train services to Broadmeadow railway station would run from Sydney and the Central Coast during Tuesday afternoon.
Buses will run between Newcastle Showground and the stadium from 5pm to 7pm, and a shuttle bus will run every 20 minutes from the Queens Wharf Brewery on Wharf Road.
After the game, extra train services to Newcastle, Maitland and Sydney will leave Broadmeadow between 9.50pm and 10.10pm.
There will also be extra buses from Hunter Stadium to Wallsend, Newcastle, Swansea and Warners Bay.
Fans thinking of driving to the game are warned to allow plenty of time and expect delays. The match kicks off at 7.30pm.