Proud Welshman Alex Cuthbert shrugs off Gloucester roots in relishing ruining England's Grand Slam dream
PROUD Alex Cuthbert admits he revelled in quashing England’s Grand Slam hopes just as much as helping Wales lift the Six Nations title.
The Gloucester-born wing fully appreciates the irony of denying the country where he was raised a first Six Nations clean sweep in ten years.
The 22-year-old former Hartpury College battering-ram plundered two tries in ten second-half minutes in Wales’ record 30-3 victory over England at the Millennium Stadium.
The raucous home crowd were as ecstatic as England were stunned by the salvo.
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But when Cuthbert asserts their hefty victory was fully deserved – and the Six Nations championship title too – no one will disagree.
The Cuthbert family might call Westbury on Severn home – but Alex has no confusion over his nationality.
Cuthbert rates Wales’ England hammering as sweeter than claiming the Grand Slam last season.
England talked up their Grand Slam tilt as potentially pivotal in their build-up towards hosting Rugby World Cup 2015.
Wales’ team talk positively wrote itself, leaving Cuthbert happily accepting the bragging rights.
He explained: “I’ve been Welsh through and through since I’ve started playing rugby, it’s a great honour to play for Wales and to score is even better really.
“So it is quite sweet beating England, especially stopping them winning the Grand Slam.
“We knew what we had to do to win the game.
“They were the ones talking it up I guess, and we kept ourselves to ourselves, we were quiet.
“We knew what we could do and we delivered on the day.
“So we deserve to be champions.
“If the forwards play like they did in this game, and with the backline we’ve got with the likes of Jamie, Jonathan Davies, George and myself then we’re going to be deadly if we’ve got that front-foot ball, it’s going to be hard for any team to stop us.
“Their go-forward players, like Tuilagi and Vunipola when he came on, they were our targets and we had to double-up on them.
“We did, and we stopped them having any go-forward at all.
“I’ve got to give full credit to the forwards, they’ve been unbelievable all tournament, and they were instrumental again.
“We’ve worked so hard the last six weeks, we’ve improved consistently, and this is a hugely proud moment for Wales and Welsh rugby I think.”
“It’s a better feeling than I’ve ever felt before, it’s a better feeling than last year, certainly, especially winning in front of a crowd like that against England, with both teams striving for that trophy.
“I said in the week that it would come down to a couple of chances, and whoever took them would win, and that’s how it turned out.
“It was a mouth-watering occasion, and winning by that margin against an England team that’s been pretty exceptional the last few weeks, that’s made it a great feeling.”
Cuthbert admitted he was relieved father Pete did not emulate George North’s dad’s French pitch invasion – but said it was a day to remember, being able to celebrate with family.
Hailing Wales’ total dominance, Cuthbert continued: “We were in command from the word go, and it was just a matter of time before we broke through.
“And thankfully those two chances came pretty close together.
“In the last ten minutes we effectively knew we’d won the game.
“It was such a great feeling, and the boys were shouting to the crowd, they were getting involved as well.
“And when that whistle went it was an unbelievable feeling.
“I thought last year would be hard to better, but this definitely does.
“I’m surprised my dad didn’t come on and celebrate with me – I’m glad he didn’t though!
“I saw my family and they were all delighted, when you get days like this you have to savour them.”