NZ capital gets slice of All Blacks' win

16:13 Wed Oct 26 2011

The All Blacks' final Rugby World Cup celebrations have ended with a haka on the steps of Parliament.

PHOTOS: Victory parade in Wellington

Wellingtonians in their tens of thousands packed the central city streets for a parade featuring their Rugby World Cup heroes.

The All Blacks arrived at Civic Square shortly after midday, to screams from thousands of fans who turned out despite wet and windy Wellington weather.

Carrying the Webb Ellis Cup after Sunday night's final victory over France, the team packed into a trailer and headed down Willis Street and Lambton Quay towards Parliament, where thousands more waited.

Many locals dressed in black gear and face paint to greet the team, with specially-crafted signs and silver fern flags, while some lucky fans got a chance to touch the coveted trophy.

The parade is the third and final planned to celebrate the victory, and was expected to be one of the largest the capital had ever seen.

Prime Minister John Key told the crowd it had been a pretty tough 12 months for the country, but winning the World Cup had made it sweeter.

"The one thing we absolutely needed at the end of 2011 was for you boys to bring home the cup," he said.

The crowd, many school-aged girls, screamed like they were at a Beatles concert, but the biggest roar went up when the All Blacks performed their final haka of 2011.

About 50,000 people watched the team parade through Christchurch on Tuesday, and more than 150,000 turned out on Monday to cheer the All Blacks in Auckland.


© AAP 2011
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