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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 March, 2005, 10:13 GMT
Don't stop celebrations - Thomas

By Gareth Thomas
Wales captain

Wow. That was the most amazing day of my career, right from the moment we pulled out of the hotel in the team coach through to the early hours of Sunday morning. And it's still going.

I've never witnessed scenes like that before, during or after a match anywhere in my entire career. Cardiff was awash with red jerseys and out-and-out craziness.

Gareth Thomas is covered in champagne as he celebrates
But we've done it and it's absolutely bloody amazing.

We know each other so well as a team, the quiet ones were left to their own devices on the coach on the way to the Millennium Stadium, while us louder ones were lapping it all up.

I'm all for pointing people out - the odd "look at that nutter in the crowd" - which is all-important in helping me and some of the other boys relax.

But the closer we got to the ground, the bigger the buzz.

Everyone's been asking me what it was like having to watch the game from the bench. Of course I'd prefer to have been out there but it was just an honour to be able to be a part of it. All that mattered was the result.

The feeling when the final whistle went was absolutely sensational. My first reaction was to go nuts, then I made my way to the boys on the field to congratulate them.

After that there was a lot of champagne in the changing rooms and a slippery slope into the Saturday night celebrations.

What's so special about this - almost more than the historic achievement of a first Grand Slam in 27 years - is the guys that did it.

I've never been with a better, tighter knit squad in my life. We love playing together and playing for each other, and that was rightfully rewarded.

After all the bad times, you don't want this sort of adulation and celebration to ever stop
Gareth Thomas
But most of us have experienced the lowest of the low - the truly dark times in Welsh international rugby - and that makes this even sweeter.

It's been great looking around us today. With good reason we've had our knockers, our critics in recent years.

They know who they are and I know who they are. I'm not going to start gloating with any of that "I told you so" nonsense.

But it's good to actually overhear some of them finally praising what we've been doing and what we've achieved.

This team was always going to go forward, even if people outside this camp didn't believe it.

People will want to knock us over now, like we all did with England after the World Cup, and we need to keep on giving 100%.

The Welsh fans might start talking up our World Cup chances now but there's plenty to be done before then to make sure we remain competitive.

As for me, I'm going to just enjoy the celebrations but I'll be a reluctant man when I head back to Toulouse this week.

That's not to say I don't like the place - in fact I've loved the move there. It's just that after all the bad times, you don't want this sort of adulation and celebration to ever stop.




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