Former skipper Sam Warburton talks up Wales’ achievements

Former Wales captain Sam Warburton hailed the “phenomenal effort” from Warren Gatland’s side as they beat Ireland in Cardiff to win the Grand Slam.

Hadleigh Parkes scored an early try and Gareth Anscombe added 20 points with the boot from a conversion and six penalties to help Wales win 25-7 at the Principality Stadium.

Warburton, who led Wales to the Grand Slam in 2012 and famously lifted the trophy with one arm after suffering a shoulder injury, told BBC One: “If for whatever reason Wales didn’t win today they wouldn’t have won a championship since 2013.

Sam Warburton won the Grand Slam in 2012 (David Davies/PA)

“Wales have been too good over the last five or six years not to have won a title.

“I’m so, so happy for all the players involved. For Warren, all the coaching staff.

“There’s been some ups and downs over the past five or six years but after the performance today to win 25-7 against the second-ranked team in the world, Ireland, is a phenomenal effort. A phenomenal effort. I’m so pleased for everyone involved.”

Martyn Williams, who won Grand Slams of his own in 2005 and 2008, echoed the thoughts of his fellow back-row forward.

Wales comfortably beat Ireland (David Davies/PA)

He said: “It was an incredible performance from the whole Welsh team. Wales just made a very, very good team look very ordinary.

“They out-harried them, they were more professional, they were more detailed, they won those big moments and it was just an incredible final-day performance from Wales. They thoroughly deserve the Grand Slam.”

It’s been a privilege being here. The atmosphere has been very, very special

Former England captain Martin Johnson feels the crowd in Cardiff played a big part in pushing Wales over the edge.

He said: “It’s an amazing atmosphere here when they get going. The players have inspired the crowd. The crowd in turn inspire the players.

“That second half Ireland were never coming back. The crowd got into it and Wales were just on top of the game.

“It’s easy sat here with a cup of tea telling you what you should do. When you’re playing in that atmosphere its very, very difficult. It’s been a privilege being here. The atmosphere has been very, very special.”

- Press Association

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