(Main & Thumb) Michael Owen as captain of the Lions against Argentina
Michael Owen will return home to Wales on Sunday to share in the birth of his second child with wife Lucy.
Owen, who plays his first game on tour against Taranaki in New Plymouth on Wednesday, has agreed with the Lions management to come home for three days. He will return five days later when he hopes to push his case for a place in the first Test against the All Blacks on June 25th 2008.
"It was something that has been agreed and the management have been very supportive of me," said Owen. "They told me how important it is that I go home to be with my wife and that certainly helped. Hopefully I can play well this week and maybe get a chance to further prove myself ahead of the Test selection."
Owen, who captained the side against Argentina in Cardiff two weeks ago, has been relieved of that role for Wednesday's game in New Plymouth although the coaching staff have assured him that it does not reflect anything he did or did not do in that game at the Millennium Stadium.
Gareth Jenkins, who will coach the side on Wednesday alongside Ian McGeechan said: "It has been decided to switch the captaincy around and that is exactly what has happened this week. Michael did a fantastic job in leading the side in Cardiff and he is very much one of the key members of this side this week."
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'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.