Most-watched Welsh national anthem ever seen by 5 million as Leigh Halfpenny in tears

The home of Welsh rugby has played host to some truly iconic moments. Wales’ haka stand-off with the All Blacks in 2008, Gavin Henson’s infamous penalty against England and Kevin Morgan’s try that secured the Grand Slam in 2005. One of the most spine-tingling moments however, comes from the mere act of singing in unison.

Wales v England. It’s 2013 and the last game of the tournament, Wales lost to Ireland but they had an opportunity to pip England to the title in Cardiff if they could win and overturn a significant points difference in the process. Momentous occasions often come with extraordinary moments, and this colossal clash provided just that.

This game would go down in Welsh rugby history, and the anthem prior to kick off is widely believed to be the best rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau ever at a rugby match. It is certainly the one that appears to have resonated most with fans, racking up more than 5 million views on YouTube to make it the most-watched sporting version of the nathem ever.

The video is truly captivating, you cannot take your eyes off the screen as the Welsh players soak in the incredible atmosphere that enchanted the Welsh capital.

A 24-year-old Leigh Halfpenny is completely starstruck as each note rolls in with a passionate roar, his tearful eyes encapsulating the euphoric moment.

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The squad is made up of memorable players past and present. A youthful Toby Faletau, Dan Biggar and Justin Tipuric amongst others would go on to tour with the British and Irish Lions on multiple occasions.

Sir Clive Woodward, who coached England to 2003 World Cup glory, was gobsmacked by the anthem that day, sating: “This blinking Welsh anthem started singing, and I was looking at the England players and you could see that they just weren’t comfortable.”

“I have never, ever heard anything like that in my life.” Something amazing happened that night, Wales were never going to get beaten.”

Even the recently retired Richard Hibbard said: “It was something else, I knew just from the singing of it that we were not going to lose.”

England were fully expecting to take home the Grand Slam in Cardiff. Stuart Lancaster’s team had won all four of their games in the tournament, and had thumped the All Blacks 38-21 a few months previous

But Alex Cuthbert proved an inspiration on the day, skinning Mike Brown on the outside for his first score, which was greeted with a shuddering battle cry from the stands. This reaction could only be surpassed by his second, a try that is synonymous with Welsh rugby fans.

Justin Tipuric found himself in acres of space, an impeccable dummy from the talismanic flanker left him and Cuthbert with one man to beat. Tipuric found the towering frame of the winger, who glided in for the score. Game over.

In the mid 1850’s, father and son Evan and James James sat down in the heart of Blackwood and created Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. Who would have thought 160 years later, it would have such a profoundly emotional impact on a game of rugby.


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