First Minister lauds Wales' Slam
March 17, 2012
Wales delight in their Six Nations triumph © Getty Images
First Minister Carwyn Jones has heaped praise on a "new generation of Welsh rugby heroes" following Wales' Six Nations Grand Slam-clinching victory over France in Cardiff.
A 16-9 victory success at the Millenium Stadium earned Wales their third Grand Slam in eight championships and consolidated their development as a side following their run to the World Cup semi-finals last year. Wing Alex Cuthbert scored the only try of the match at the Millennium Stadium, with Leigh Halfpenny adding three penalties and a conversion for Wales.
"Today, we witnessed the arrival of a new generation of Welsh rugby heroes - a group of players who have equalled the success of those great Welsh teams of the past," said Jones, who will welcome the squad to The Senedd on Monday to mark their achievement. "The pressure was entirely on Wales to perform today and they won in style. This match - more than any other in this year's Six Nations tournament - showed just how mature this young team really is.
"In the space of just five months, they have reached the World Cup semi-final and won the Grand Slam. Today, Welsh rugby moved up a significant notch. We are now without doubt the predominant rugby team in the northern hemisphere. My congratulations go to the players, to (head coach) Warren Gatland and the coaching staff for what they've achieved for our country today. They have made Wales proud."
Welsh Rugby Union Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, commented: "This squad has written an important new chapter in Welsh rugby history which deserves to be properly recognised and honoured. They have won the tournament by playing a brand of engaging and compelling rugby which has thrilled followers of the game around the world.
"I am delighted the Welsh Government has decided to host this event to show how much the people of Wales appreciate this achievement. I know just how hard this squad has worked to win the Grand Slam and they fully deserve to be honoured in this way.
In addition, Cardiff's Capital Tower will feature a picture of Wales' winning skipper and the coveted silverware from 7pm until midnight, as Welsh rugby fans continue their celebrations into the night in the city centre.
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