Grand Slam: Wales' Six Nations victory event at Senedd

Wales prop Gethin Jenkins celebrates with the Six Nations trophy The trophy will be re-presented to the team by the first minister

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Wales' Grand Slam celebrations continue with a victory event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Monday evening.

Fans began partying as soon as the whistle blew on Saturday's game against France at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales secured their third Six Nations Grand Slam in eight seasons, securing their place in Welsh rugby history.

First Minister Carwyn Jones is to formally re-present the Six Nations trophy to Wales team coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton.

Fans will be able to watch the ceremony, which begins at 18:00 GMT with a private reception hosted by the first minister and the presiding officer.

The squad are expected to take to the steps of the debating chamber at around 18:30 GMT for the re-presentation of the trophy.

Mr Jones has hailed the team's 16-9 win over France as showing that Wales is now "the predominant rugby team in the northern hemisphere".

He said: "This victory is a fantastic reflection of the talent, grit and determination our team has displayed throughout the tournament.

"I want to congratulate them on making the nation proud and taking our Grand Slam tally to three in the last seven years."

Start Quote

It also gives the public a chance to see their heroes because all are welcome to come and cheer their success outside the Senedd”

End Quote Rosemary Butler AM Presiding officer

Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler AM will welcome the squad to the Senedd for an official reception, which is jointly being hosted by the Welsh assembly, Welsh government and Cardiff Council.

"This is a fantastic achievement by our rugby team," said Mrs Butler.

"To win three Six Nations Grand Slams in the space of eight years is on a par with the achievements of the great Welsh rugby giants of the 1970s.

"It follows on from the strides they made in the World Cup in New Zealand, and by hosting this reception we are simply congratulating them on behalf of an extremely proud nation.

"It also gives the public a chance to see their heroes because all are welcome to come and cheer their success outside the Senedd."

Supporters have been urged to arrive early for the event, which will also involve local schoolchildren.

Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive, Roger Lewis, said: "This squad has written an important new chapter in Welsh rugby history which deserves to be properly recognised and honoured.

"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."

An estimated 250,000 people descended on Cardiff on Saturday either to be at the match or to watch the game in the supporters' village and the city's bars.

Meanwhile, BBC Wales said the TV audience for Saturday's match peaked at 945,000 across BBC One Wales and S4C towards the end of the match - an 80% share of viewing.

Before the match, there was a more sombre mood marked by a minute's silence, in memory of Mervyn Davies.

The former British Lions and Wales hero died on Thursday, aged 65.

Both teams wore black armbands as a mark of respect to "Merv the Swerve".

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