Romanian scrum-half Florin Surugiu turned a crushing defeat into a personal victory by proposing to his girlfriend on the famous Wembley turf on Sunday.
The 30-year-old played the final 12 minutes of the 44-10 World Cup Pool D defeat by Six Nations champions Ireland and then stayed on the pitch to propose.
His unsuspecting partner had to undergo the very public proposal in front of a record crowd for a Rugby World Cup match of 89,267.
Fortunately, she said ‘yes’.
Surugiu went ahead with the proposal against the advice of the team’s national coach, Welshman Lynn Howells.
“I tried to advise him not to but there you go,” said Howells.
“She said yes. It’s too romantic for me but I’m sure she enjoyed every minute of it.”
Surugiu’s showmanlike proposal in the wake of a high-profile defeat echoed that of former French football coach Raymond Domenech.
Instead of answering questions on a TV program about whether he would resign in the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat to Italy, which saw France exit Euro 2008 at the group stage, he instead proposed to his girlfriend Estelle Denis, who worked for the channel at the time.
A visibly embarrassed Denis declined to give him an immediate answer.