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Live Reporting

Richard Williams

All times stated are UK

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  1. Nostalgia is exactly what it used to be

    Hope you all enjoyed that?

    Not sure what was more remarkable, the match or the Welsh weather for a game in March?

    It all counts for nothing when Wales step out against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium again today.

    Remember, full coverage on BBC television, radio and at

    The match kicks off at 14:30 GMT.

  2. How was it for you?

    This is what some of the Wales players had to say


    "It was a long time ago, a crazy, crazy day. It was the first time (Grand Slam) for Wales in I don't know how many years.

    "It was my first try for Wales. Actually I had scored before, against Romania and Japan, but they don't count!"


    "It was an unbelievable atmosphere in the stadium, the support was tremendous.

    "It would be difficult for any visiting team in Cardiff on a day like that, the fans carried us through."


    "This meant everything to the boys after three years of hard work.

    "The crowd were fantastic, they were watching in the best stadium in the world... and we gave them what they deserved."


    "The 2005 Grand Slam win over Ireland was the most memorable game of my career - it was just so long since Wales had won one. The way we won the whole tournament, the way the day went, the crowd - everything was great."

    The match I remember was the last one, the Ireland game - it was a beautiful day and the whole city was buzzing.

  3. Post update

    Ryan Jones

    Former Wales captain

    I don't think there's ever been a game like that in the new stadium and I don't think it will ever be replicated again. There's almost an air of expectation now, people have seen three Grand Slams now so anything short of that is a disappointment. For me it's my career highlight. I hold it up there as the best of the three.

  4. Entertainer Max Boyce's view

    We'd got used to Grand Slams and Triple Crowns in the 1970s and perhaps we'd forgotten to savour how special they were so when this one came along it was very, very special indeed.

    You have to lose something to treasure it, to see what it's really worth. We learnt in 2005 to respect how precious Grand Slams are.

  5. Post update

    Ryan Jones

    Former Wales captain

    Is it relief when the final whistle goes that you've achieved everything that you set out to do? Is it pure unadulterated pleasure and enjoyment? And the answer is it's everything.

    It is a huge sense of relief that you haven't let yourself down, you haven't let your family down, you haven't let all those fans down you haven't disappointed on what's been a magical eight or nine weeks.

    And then there's that ecstatic feeling that we've achieved something that no one can ever take away from us. It was almost that looking around saying well, what do we do?

  6. Post update

    Coach Mike Ruddock's Grand Slam delight

    Mike Ruddock
    Image caption: Mike Ruddock celebrates winning the Grand Slam

    "It's been a long time coming and we've had to wait for it, but it has been worth the wait.

    "A lot of these guys are too young to remember some of those days of the '70s, but it brought back those memories.

    "The players really dug in. At times it has been tough for them but they are an amazing bunch and have worked hard so hard for this moment.

    "Now we've got the Grand Slam - and it's brilliant!"

  7. FULL TIME: Wales 32-20 Ireland

    Martyn Williams hoofs the ball into touch after yet another Irish attack and the biggest party in Cardiff for 27 years gets underway.

  8. Post update

    Ryan Jones

    Former Wales captain

    The clock seems to click slower if you like. You are aware of the time and you undoubtedly ask the referee, but there's a big clock in the stadium and you've always got one eye on that.

  9. Converted try - Geordan Murphy, David Humphries

    Wales 32-20 Ireland

    But Ireland will not lie down and hit back as Shane Williams is exposed under a high kick and Geordan Murphy sidesteps past the defenders to get Ireland back to within 12 points. But there are only minutes remaining . . . and they are ticking slowly. Gavin Henson blots his copybook too.

  10. Penalty - Stephen Jones

    Wales 32-13 Ireland

    The ever-calm Scarlets fly-half settles the nerves with another penalty after yet another Irish mistake at a breakdown.

  11. Converted try - Marcus Horan, David Humphries

    Wales 29-13 Ireland

    The nerves start to show as Ireland do what they are good at - never giving up a cause as lost.

  12. Post update

    Ryan Jones

    Former Wales captain

    It was such a sense of jubilation. Thinking back now to see the eruption of the crowd, the feeling - I can still feel it now - they are memories and moments that live with you long, long into retirement I suppose.

  13. Post update

    Gareth Charles, BBC Wales rugby correspondent

    The most important try by Wales in 27 years.

  14. Post update

    Kevin Morgan

    Former Wales full-back

    It's funny how I look back and I can't remember a huge amount about it because it all becomes a blur. I think we had a lineout around halfway, the forwards took on a drive and Michael Owen broke off and made a good bit of yardage, sucked a few defenders and we just had a bit of quick ball, Tom Shanklin made a great break off a Stephen Jones pass. I only had to dive over.

    It was probably one of the most important dives of my career but it was an easy jump over the line and the crowd went mad and the players knew then that this was us winning I think.

    I can't help but look back at it and acknowledge that was THE defining moment of my career.

  15. Converted try - Kevin Morgan, Stephen Jones

    Wales 29-6 Ireland

    Kevin Morgan scores for Wales against Ireland in 2005
    Image caption: Kevin Morgan scores for Wales

    Tom Shanklin cuts a superb line and sends the speedy full-back scampering over over near the posts. It is the key moment of the match.

  16. The excitement builds

    What are your memories? – Email or tweet us using #ScrumV

  17. Penalty - Stephen Jones

    Wales 22-6 Ireland

    The gap is getting bigger, and the Grand Slam getting closer.

  18. Penalty - Stephen Jones

    Wales 19-6 Ireland

    Second half is like the first as Stephen Jones turns Welsh pressure into points.

  19. Post update

    Kevin Morgan

    Former Wales full-back

    When you're playing the game - and I'm sure most players will tell you the same - you don't really notice the crowd until breaks in play or when you score a try because you're so immersed in the game. It's like background noise. The roar that came from the crowd when Gethin scored was - as you can imagine - extremely loud and I think it fed through to the players.

  20. Penalty - Ronan O'Gara

    Wales 16-6 Ireland

  21. Penalty - Stephen Jones

    Wales 16-3 Ireland

  22. Penalty - Gavin Henson

    Wales 13-3 Ireland

    The silver-booted Henson smacks one over from 52 metres.

    STEPHEN JONES: Gavin was my room-mate for that campaign, good room-mate, good company, great professional Gavin who's worked very hard on his game. It was great for me as he was playing 12, he had good knowledge of the game and good chat in the sense that he gave me good calls. It was a pleasure to play alongside Gavin.

  23. Post update

    Ryan Jones

    Former Wales captain

    Gethin sort of set the tone really for modern front-row play, as much as it pains me to say it because he's a very miserable man. But he's a wonderfully gifted rugby player he understands the game and it's a very very good competitor.

  24. Post update

    Kevin Morgan

    Former Wales full-back

    I had a bit of a grandstand view, I could just see over the horizon that Gethin was trundling down the field. It was a ruck around halfway and I could see O'Gara was shaping to kick so I was back in our own half trying to make sure we fielded the kick. You can't really see it because you're so far away you just hear the roar of the crowd and you know that someone had charged it down. I could just barely see number one on Gethin's back as he's racing down the field, just see a little bit of footwork and it's so far away you just hear the crowd cheering really - they tell you before you know yourself that he's scored and the whole stadium erupted.

  25. Converted try - Gethin Jenkins, Stephen Jones

    Wales 10-3 Ireland

    Stephen Jones congratulates Gethin Jenkins
    Image caption: Stephen Jones congratulates Gethin Jenkins after his try

    Prop Gethin Jenkins flies out of the blocks to charge down Ronan O'Gara's kick. He plays football before flopping on the ball as it crosses the try line. Stephen Jones converts to rapturous applause.

  26. Drop-goal - Gavin Henson

    Wales 3-3 Ireland

    Earlier in the tournament his kick beat England, now Gavin Henson is on target with a scruffy drop-goal that hits an Irishman on the way over. A good omen?

  27. Penalty - Ronan O'Gara

    Wales 0-3 Ireland

    The game kicks off in bright sunshine and Ireland - who haven't lost in Cardiff for 22 years - start well, with fly-half Ronan O'Gara drawing first blood.

  28. Does the singer look familiar?

    Wynne Evans

    Well, the man singing "Guide me oh thou Great Jehovah" just before kick-off is Wynne Evans - an accomplished and successful operatic tenor whose credits include appearances in La Traviata and Rigoletto among many others on the stages of the The Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

    But you might recognise him as an irritating singing waiter in a famous television advert for an online comparison site.

  29. How they lined-up in 2005

    Wales: K Morgan; M Taylor, T Shanklin, G Henson, S Williams; S Jones, D Peel; G Jenkins, M Davies, A Jones, B Cockbain, R Sidoli, R Jones, M Williams, M Owen (capt). Replacements: R McBryde, J Yapp, J Thomas, R Sowden-Taylor, M Phillips, C Sweeney, S Parker.

    Ireland: G Murphy; G Dempsey, B O'Driscoll (capt), K Maggs, D Hickie; R O'Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes, M O'Kelly, P O'Connell, S Easterby, J O'Connor, A Foley. Replacements: F Sheahan, M Horan, D O'Callaghan, E Miller, G Easterby, D Humphreys, G Duffy.

    Referee: Chris White (RFU).

  30. Post update

    Ryan Jones

    Former Wales captain

    Crowds throng the streets of Cardiff before the 2005 Grand Slam match
    Image caption: Crowds throng the streets of Cardiff before the 2005 Grand Slam match

    The magic had built, and the whole nation was fixated on what was going to happen.

    The streets were full but it wasn't as if they didn't want to move out of the way they couldn't move, there was nowhere for them to go. Thousands of people had descended on Cardiff without tickets just to come and experience and be part of the magic of what was going to turn out to be one of those 'where were you' moments.

    I'd be wrong in saying you don't feel or you can't sense the emotion. It was uncharted territory. There was a weight of nervousness, it was an unknown and we were on the verge of something very very special.

  31. Friends, Romans, rugby fans . . .

    Legendary Welsh actor Richard Burton summed things up nicely

    Richard Burton
    Image caption: The celebrated Welsh actor and rugby fan, Richard Burton

    "We are the nation of the possessed where rugby football is concerned. We identify with our national team more completely than any other nation.

    "Now again we are in ecstacy for we have glimpsed at something that is an expression of some denied part of ourselves.

    "One myth perpetuates another; one achievement gives way to the next.

    "The moment we think the past is irretrievably lost, we rediscover it.

    "The faces are different; the template is the same."

  32. Your thoughts

    On twitter, Marc Davies says: 'The #RWC2011 Quarter Final was just as sweet......!!'

    That's when Wales beat Ireland 22-10 in Wellington.

    What do you think will happen today at the Millennium Stadium? – Email or tweet us using #ScrumV

  33. Return of the glory days

    Let's concentrate on 2005 then . . .

    Wales had last won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 1978 when Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett were in their pomp.

    There had been near misses in 1988 and 1994, but the golden era was a distant memory when Wales swept aside Scotland to make it four wins out of four in the 2005 tournament.

    The build-up to the Ireland match saw Wales gripped with something approaching hysteria.

  34. Post update

    Ireland v Wales

    Since the match in 2005, the meeting of Wales and Ireland has become one of the key matches of any Six Nations tournament.

    Ben Dirs looked at the rivalry that's developed between the Celtic cousins.

  35. Fancy a chuckle?

    But it's not all serious. BBC Wales caught up with Wales players Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Mike Phillips this week for a quick game of "Guess Who".

    It seems they know their team-mates very well, and Racing Metro scrum-half Phillips has a keen sense of comic timing.

    Guess Who? image
  36. Post update

    Gareth Thomas

    Before we go back to 2005 (without the aid of the Tardis) check out the views of Gareth Thomas on this year's match.

    Thomas was Wales captain in 2005, but missed the Grand Slam match with injury.

    He says this season's match makes him miss playing the game.

  37. It's going to be tough in Cardiff

    And don't forget later today there's all the action from this season's Calcutta Cup match and full live coverage on BBC television, radio and online of this season's crunch match between Wales and Ireland in Cardiff.

    Ireland are unbeaten after seeing-off Italy, France and England. Wales have recovered from a defeat by England on the opening weekend with away wins over Scotland and France.

    Wales forwards coach expects today's clash in Cardiff to be a titanic, attritional battle.

    "Teams are wearing each other down and unfortunately sometimes the spectators have got to pay a price for that," said McBryde.

  38. Get involved

    What do you think will happen today at the Millennium Stadium? – Email or tweet us using #ScrumV

  39. Post update

    That match from 2005 follows soon, but first it's 1963 and the Calcutta Cup match in Twickenham.

  40. Hello, and happy Six Nations day to you

    Good morning and welcome to another big day of Six Nations Championship action.

    Today we have Wales v Ireland in Cardiff and England v Scotland in Twickenham.

    But before that, let us rewind to 2005 when Ireland came to Cardiff chasing a Triple Crown and Wales were on the brink of a first Grand Slam in 27 years.

    Something had to give.