The uncapped game against a star-studded Barbarians side at Bristol's Ashton Gate will be Ruddock's first assignment on 26th May before he takes his side on tour in June. Ruddock will get his first taste of Test action in Argentina when Wales return to the scene of their stunning series triumph over the Pumas in 1998 with two internationals against the home side on the 12th and 19th June.
Then Wales move on to South Africa to meet the Springboks in Pretoria on 26th June. Ruddock will have to wait until 13 November for his first game in charge at the Millennium Stadium when Romania will be the visitors. It will be the third time in four seasons they have come to Wales.
That game will provide the build-up to Ruddock's biggest challenge in his first six months in charge when the All Blacks return to Cardiff with former Wales coaches Henry and Steve Hansen at the helm. That game will be played on Saturday, 20 November.
The following weekend will see Japan attempt to avenge their 1999 Rugby World Cup defeat by Wales in Cardiff. Wales are still trying to negotiate an extra fixture in the Autumn period, but no date has yet been confirmed.
"Mike Ruddock faces a bit of a baptism by fire at the start of his two year reign as Welsh coach, but he wouldn't have it any other way. There are four fixtures in the six full blown Tests in his first six months against teams who are ranked higher than Wales in the IRB World Rankings," said WRU Chief Executive David Moffett.
"It is vitally important that the Welsh players test themselves against the best in the world and by playing two Tests in Argentina, another in South Africa and facing the All Blacks at the Millennium Stadium we believe we are giving them the perfect opportunity to improve."
For Ruddock, who officially takes over his appointment on 1 May, it means he will have four quick opportunities to do something that Steve Hansen was unable to achieve in his time as the Welsh coach and beat a team ranked higher than Wales in the world rankings. Wales currently lie in eighth place, one behind Argentina and with the All Blacks and South Africa in the top five.
"We have an incredibly challenging summer tour with two Tests in Argentina and one in South Africa and then the players will have a wonderfully balanced Autumn Series to look forward to at the Millennium Stadium," said Ruddock.
"The only way we will improve as a rugby playing nation is if we have regular contact with the top teams in the world and by playing the Pumas twice, the Springboks and the All Blacks ahead of the 2005 RBS Six Nations Championship we will have every chance of continuing the development that was so apparent under Steve Hansen."
WALES FIXTURES 2004
26 May Barbarians v Wales XV (Ashton Gate, Bristol)
12 June - Argentina v Wales (Buenos Aires)
19 June - Argentina v Wales (Buenos Aires)
26 June - South Africa v Wales (Pretoria)
WALES AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL TEST SERIES
13 November - Wales v Romania
20 November - Wales v New Zealand
27 November - Wales v Japan
Previous Autumn Series
2003 - Rugby World Cup
2002 - Romania, Fiji, Canada, New Zealand
2001 - Romania, Argentina, Tonga, Australia
2000 - Samoa, USA, South Africa
1999 - Rugby World Cup
1998 - South Africa (Wembley), Argentina (Stradey Park)
1997 - Tonga (St Helen's), New Zealand (Wembley)
1996 - Australia, South Africa
1995 - Fiji
1994 - Italy, South Africa
1993 - Japan, Canada
1992 - Australia