In a surprise schedule change, The Prince of Wales told the Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks today that his forthcoming trip to Australia poses a bit of a sticky problem - he doesn't know what to tell the losing Aussies.
In bright spring sunshine, thousands had gathered in the forecourt of New Zealand’s parliament in Welllington to see the squad set off on the final leg of their welcome home tour and Charles and Camilla congratulated the all-conquering team and their captain Richie McCaw before their victory parade.
McCaw, who was clutching the Webb Ellis trophy, led his team out to deafening cheers after he had a brief chat to the royal visitors inside the parliament's foyer.
New Zealand became the first nation to win successive World Cup titles when they beat arch-rivals Australia in a thrilling final at Twickenham last weekend and it was Prince Charles son, avid rugby fan Prince Harry who presented McCaw with the trophy.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we just travelled 11,683 miles to come here to congratulate the best rugby team in the world,” Prince Charles announced.
"But ladies and gentlemen, what the hell am I going to say to the Aussies next week?"
With his winning medal around his neck, McCaw praised Rugby World Cup hosts England telling the Prince: "It was a wonderful tournament."
The captain is widely rumoured to be retiring from the sport this year and is expected to receive a knighthood when he makes the announcement.
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