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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005, 12:01 GMT
Wales celebrates Grand Slam win
Wales fans celebrating
Celebrations in Cardiff as Wales land the grand slam after 27 years
Thousands of people have celebrated deep into the night across Wales after the national rugby team won the Grand Slam for the first time in 27 years.

A full house of 72,500 saw Wales beat Ireland at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, with at least as many watching from pubs and on a big screen nearby.

Saturday's 32-20 win followed earlier Six Nations championship successes over England, Italy, France and Scotland.

The Grand Slam champions title is given to any side winning all their matches.

The last time Wales won the Grand Slam was in 1978, when legend Phil Bennett captained the team to victory.

The omens for a win were good after two other Welsh teams won Six Nations-style Grand Slams on Friday night.

Wales' under-21s overcame Ireland's by 32 points to five, giving the team the Grand Slam title and boding well for the future of Welsh rugby.

And the Welsh Fire Service team thrashed the Irish Fire Service team by 70 points to 12 at the Glamorgan Wanderers Memorial Ground in Cardiff.

One fan, who staked 2,000 on Wales to win the Grand Slam at odds of 33-1 would have been in for a windfall of 66,000 - if only he had not suffered cold feet at the last minute and staked 18,000 of his potential winnings on a Wales loss.

Fans in Wood Street, Cardiff
City streets became a sea of fans, most of them wearing red
Bookies have already cut the odds of the Welsh team winning the rugby world cup from 40-1 to 12-1 following Saturday's historic triumph.

Rugby fans reported having to queue for entry to some bars as early as 1100 GMT on Saturday, as people picked out their vantage points in front of television screens for the biggest match at the Millennium Stadium since it was opened for the rugby world cup in 1999.

Another large crowd gathered to watch a big screen set up outside City Hall before the 1530 GMT kick off.

Singers Max Boyce, Katherine Jenkins and Charlotte Church led the singing of the Welsh anthem inside the stadium after the teams ran out onto the pitch.

After the match, three Royal Welch Fusiliers who were awarded Military Crosses on Friday for bravery whilst serving in Iraq, were presented to the crowd.

The men - Sergeant Major Mark Evans, from Rhyl, Fusilier David Evans, from Swansea, and Sergeant Neil Griffiths, from Pontypridd - all took up invitations from the Welsh Rugby Union to celebrate their honours.


SEE ALSO
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