A Welsh Assembly XV defeated a French parliament XV 35-7 in a charity rugby match in Caerphilly on Saturday (February 22).
The match, which featured Assembly support staff and Welsh Government staff, as well as Plaid Cymru AM Rhun Ap Iorwerth, was held to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.
The game, which was played at Virginia Park, took place before Wales’ 27-23 Six Nations defeat to France in Cardiff.
The Assembly side will travel to Paris next year for the reverse fixture.
Speaking after the game, Mike Jones QC, chairman of Welsh Assembly Rugby, said: “It was fortunate that the game was on because of the weather we’ve been having.
“It was played in a great spirit, it was a hard game, but given the conditions it was an entertaining game of rugby.”
Mr Jones added: “We’ve got players of all abilities, from some playing at local clubs and others who haven’t played rugby for a number of years.
“It’s great because there’s a lot of camaraderie between the teams, including the French, but it all then stays on the pitch and we all enjoy having a pint afterwards before we watch the main event.”
Dean Cometson, who played in the match, said: “The result comes second to the event.
“It’s been a fantastic day raising money for Bowel Cancer UK.
“Everyone’s happy, everyone’s smiling and the Welsh Assembly come away with a 35-7 win and I managed to score myself – as always!”
He added: “We look forward to going to Paris next year and looking forward to 2023, when the French are holding the World Cup, but also the French parliament is holding the Parliamentary World Cup, so everything we do now is geared towards that.”
Bertrand Bouyx, who represents the French department of Calvados in the French parliament, described the game as “hard” but said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s friendship between Wales and France.
“It is my first time in Wales. We’ve had a warm welcome and I’m always happy to play rugby because we share the same values.”
Since it’s inception in 2006, Welsh Assembly Rugby has raised around £30,000 for Bowel Cancer UK.
The team will play against a XV from the House of Commons and House of Lords in their next game on Saturday, March 7. The game will be held on the same day as Wales’ Six Nations clash with England at Twickenham.
The team will return to Caerphilly Rugby Club on Saturday, March 14, when they take on a Scottish parliament XV.