Wales finally lift the Six Nations trophy in private behind closed doors ceremony at their training ground after Scotland denied France – with coach Wayne Pivac describing captain Alun Wyne Jones as one of the ‘all-time great players’ after winning fifth title
- Wales lifted the Six Nations trophy during a private ceremony on Saturday
- Wayne Pivac’s side became champions after France lost to Scotland on Friday
- The ceremony took place in Wales’ training ground centre of excellence
- Pivac praised Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones – who has won fifth Six Nations title
Wales were handed the Six Nations trophy in a behind closed doors celebration on Saturday after they were confirmed as the tournament champions on Friday night.
France failed to meet the terms required to steal the trophy away from Wales against Scotland at the Stade de Frace – a bonus point victory with a 21-point winning margin – as Fabien Galthie’s side were beaten 27-23 in a dramatic encounter.
Wayne Pivac’s side were presented with the trophy at their training ground headquarters, which captain Alun Wyn Jones lofted high in the air to spark jubilant scenes among the reunited players.
Wales were handed the Six Nations trophy on Saturday after their win was confirmed on Friday
The celebrations took place in a behind closed doors ceremony in Wales’ centre of excellence
Wales completed all of their matches last weekend, with France’s tie with Scotland a rearranged fixture from a month ago after an initial delay due to coronavirus.
Pivac’s side thought they had thrown away their Six Nations hopes along with their Grand Slam chances against France last weekend when they were dramatically beaten 32-30 in Paris, thanks to a late try from Brice Dulin.
But Galthie’s side failed to do the business against Scotland, with two tries from Duhan Van der Merwe damaging their hopes to seal Gregor Townsend’s side a first win in Paris since 1999.
Wales’ win was confirmed after Scotland beat title hopefuls France 27-23 on Friday night
France needed a bonus point victory and a 21-point winning margin to win the Six Nations
It is also Wales’ second Six Nations title in three years and captain Jones’ fifth of his stellar career – 13 years after his first.
Pivac paid tribute to the Wales skipper and branded him as one of the all-time great players.
The Wales coach told reporters: ‘Alun Wyn will go down as one of the greatest players of all time and rightly so. I suspected he would go well (in the Six Nations), but he surpassed what I thought he would deliver.
‘He was superb and it is not just what you see on a given day in a Test match, it is what he does every minute of every training session. He leads from the front physically and it is just incredible. Again, it’s the pride in the jersey and playing for his country.
Wayne Pivac praised Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and branded him one of the all-time greats
‘For a small nation, people will say we punch above our weight, but there is a lot of history there and a lot of motivated people. He is our leader on the field and off the field. He does a fantastic job.’
Jones himself admitted he did not celebrate too wildly when France failed to beat Scotland on Friday night but revealed his pride in the team in what was a dramatic tournament from start to finish.
The Wales forward recalled: ‘It was just a normal night really. Kids to bed and then it was a bit of a small matter of a rugby match on that I caught the last 20 minutes of, so pretty standard really.
‘The last 12 months has been very different, not only in the sporting world, but everywhere.
Jones (above) insisted he did not party too wildly on Friday night when Scotland beat France
‘It has been very different in many ways and a long week, not preparing on a game that has a bearing on where you finish. So it was a strange one.
On Wales’ Six Nations’ performance this year, Jones added: ‘I am just really proud of the attitude on the field, but also the discipline off-field.
‘Obviously, we have had our blips like most environments have because of the situation, but to be able to come through it like we have just makes you proud.
‘Considering the state of things and what was said coming into this campaign, to a man I am very proud to be associated with the staff and management and the current crop of players.’