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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 November 2007, 17:36 GMT
Prince watches Wales lose his cup
Prince William and the rugby captains

Prince William has watched Wales lose 12- 34 in the first Prince William Cup match with South Africa at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The cup, named in the prince's honour, had been created to mark 100 years of rugby between the two nations.

Most spectators applauded the prince as he went to meet the teams before the match, but some booing was also heard.

Thousands had signed an online campaign to rename the cup after rugby legend Ray Gravell who died last month.

The WRU has said it would talk to Gravell's family and the Llanelli Scarlets about a long-term tribute to him.

Gravell, who won 23 caps for Wales, was honoured at the first international match since his death with a minute's silence and applause while one of his favourite songs, Dafydd Iwan's 'Yma o hyd', played in the background.

The prince tried to blow the South African band's Kudu horn
The prince seemed pretty pleased after blowing the horn

The prince, vice royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), presented the trophy to South African captain John Smitt at the end of the match.

The two jewellers who made the cup, Mari Thomas, from Llanelli, and Nicola Palterman, from Neath, said they were inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and Wales when making the 55cm high cup.

They met the prince at half-time said it was a "fantastic honour" to have their design chosen by the prince.

Ms Thomas, 36, said: "We're both incredibly proud. It's just fantastic to be here today."

The Prince William Cup, which also incorporates a quote from Nelson Mandela, will now be played for each time the Springboks take on Wales.

Before the match begun Prince William watched performances by a South African band Amampondo and a south Wales charity Valleys Kids.

The prince even tried his hand at blowing the band's Kudu horn, joking "that never goes right" as he was handed the instrument.

Full back Morgan Stoddart holds the Prince William cup
Wales' new cap Morgan Stoddart holds the Prince William cup

But his efforts won praise from leader Mzwandile Qoyoti, from Cape Town, who said afterwards: "He was so good. I'd like him to come and play with our band, now and again.

"It's not so easy to play, but he was a natural."

Craig Cox, 13, of Rhydyfelin,near Pontypridd, played the African drums for the prince.

He said: "It was really good to meet him. He's such a nice man."

The prince also told Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, who met him with First Minister Rhodri Morgan at his arrival at the stadium, he was "upset" about England's football team being beaten by Croatia this week.

When Mr Hain told him the team needed to get a "decent" manager, the prince replied: "I hope so."



SEE ALSO
Stradey to stage Gravell funeral
05 Nov 07 |  South West Wales
Wales v South Africa (Sat)
24 Nov 07 |  Welsh
FA Cup duties for Prince William
13 May 06 |  South East Wales



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