There's no place like home for Wales when it comes to the RBS Six Nations Championship. That is what rising star, Jonathan Thomas, reckons following the beating they took from the Irish in Dublin. Thomas, who stood in for crocked skipper Colin Charvis, admits the team are still hurting from that defeat but insists a return to the Millennium Stadium will be the perfect tonic.
"It will be a big bonus to be back on home soil, on familiar territory in front of our own fans for the France game," said Thomas. "The atmosphere in the Millennium Stadium was awesome against the Scots and the Ireland defeat adds an edge to the game for us.
"Losing that game was so disappointing because we really thought we had come such a long way in twelve months. To lose in the way we did just adds to that disappointment but now we must that behind us and look forward to the next game.
"France are one of the best four sides in the world and we just have to play and express ourselves in the way we have proved we can in the past. We must put the defeat against Ireland into perspective, learn from our mistakes and remind ourselves that we are better than that.
"The squad give 100 percent and have a positive attitude. You can't doubt the commitment of anyone in this squad at the moment but every game throws up something different and that's the lesson for us to learn."
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.