Welsh rugby has received a massive boost with the news that planning permission has been granted to build a Â£10m state-of-the-art National Academy training centre on a 40 acre site at Island Farm, Bridgend.
Designed by architects and engineeers James & Nicholas, and financed entirely by developers Macob Projects Ltd, the new home of Welsh rugby will be gifted to the WRU rent free for the first two years.
The new facility will boast a massive Indoor Arena, weight training facilities, four rugby pitches, an Astroturf surface and a 400 metre running track.
The Academy will service all levels of Welsh Rugby development from the senior Wales Squad all the way down to the Under 16s, the Welsh Women's teams and the Welsh Deaf Rugby Union.
"This is something that the national squad has been crying out for and that will service the National Academies in the best way possible," said the Wales national coach Steve Hansen.
"It will be a world class facility and will form a vital part of the development of rugby throughout Wales."
The project has been driven through by the WRU's director of rugby, Terry Cobner.
"The development means the Welsh Rugby Union will no longer need to get the begging bowl out for club pitches in order to train its national squads," said Cobner.
"It guarantees pitches at times of inclement weather and offers our players the highest standard in training facilities, allowing them to aspire to the highest possible playing standards.
"I would like to thank all the clubs for their support over past seasons and now look forward to using the new facilities, which we have desperately needed for so long."
The Welsh Assembly now has 21 days in which to call in the plans for the new centre, but WRU chief executive David Moffett has appealed to them to offer their support.
"The Assembly has been making lots of sympathetic noises, so indications are good that we will soon have the dedicated training site our game needs," said Moffett.
"The Union was thwarted once before in its efforts to build such a facility at the Celtic Manor Resort, when the Assembly intervened. We now desperately need to receive support for this vital, independently funded facility."
The project has been managed in such a way that it is self-financing with revenue for the facilities coming from housing and a business park.
"Wales already has a national ground of the highest international standards in the Millennium Stadium and now we will have a training facility to match,'' added Moffett.
"Much of the credit must go to Terry Cobner for sticking with this project after the set backs we had over the plans to build at the Celtic Manor.''