Martyn Williams reckons Mike Ruddock is the man to complete the Welsh jigsaw by turning the Welsh pack into a winning hand. Former flanker Ruddock is regarded as Mr Fix-it when it comes to set-piece play after his time with Swansea, Ebbw Vale and Ireland. And he will need to get to work quick with scrum experts Argentina looming large on the horizon.
A wobbly lineout and creaking scrum meant Wales were forced to live off scraps during the Six Nations as the forwards felt the pinch. Yet the Williams boys - Shane and Rhys - made bread from the crumbs of possesion as Wales matched champions France try for try.
And British Lion Williams reckons Wales could be genuine title contenders if they can get their set-piece sorted. "We are all well aware that the set-piece needs some work and I really think Mike is the perfect man for the job," said flanker Williams.
"I've worked with him before and he's a very knowledgeable guy - especially about forward play. Being an ex-back-row player he knows that's where the game is won and lost. "He is really organised and his track record speaks for itself and his time as Ireland forwards coach will be a massive help to us.
"But the players know that while Mike will bring a lot of new ideas and organisation up front, ultimately it comes down to the players to sort things out. "We have to make the right calls at the right time and that comes down purely to experience. "If you look at the Irish pack who played so well in the Six Nations, they have been together as a unit for the last four years.
"Most of our guys are still young and still learning but it will come. "We showed at times how dangerous we can be off 30 or 40 per cent of the ball, so it's left us wondering what we could do with 50 or 60 per cent." Williams admitted he felt sorry for Ruddock over the the cloud that surrounded his shock appointment ahead of popular choice Gareth Jenkins.
But he reckons the feal-good factor in and around the Wales team will help Ruddock emerge from the "shadow" lurking behind him. "This is a great time to be involved with Wales with the feal-good factor among the players, the supporters and in the regions," said Williams.
"So it's a good time for Mike to take over, despite the circumstances. "I
really hope for his sake that people forget what happened and the controversy around the selection. It was a shock, the players were as surprised as anyone.
"But all of that will be forgotten with success and hopefully we can win our
first few games and help him make a name for himself." Meanwhile Williams insists he WILL be available for the summer tour despite concerns that he will have to undergo the surgery he put off to travel to New Zealand last year. He said: "There's so much excitement that no-one wants to miss anything - you just want to be involved."
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'.