Ryan Jones was left pinching himself last night as he prepared to take part in his first training session with the Lions.
Jones arrived in Christchurch on Sunday after being called up as cover for the injured Scottish No.8 Simon Taylor, who has since been ruled out of the rest of the tour. For the Ospreys flanker / No.8, his late inclusion in the Lions party rounds off the most incredible year of his life.
Having kicked off last summer out of work after the Warriors folded, Jones was then snapped up by the Ospreys. Ten months later he finds himself in a Lions squad having won the Celtic League with his region and the RBS Six Nations, Triple Crown and Grand Slam with Wales.
"I find it difficult to stop smiling," said Jones. "It has been an amazing year with the Ospreys and Wales and this just rounds it off. I am still wondering when it will all sink in, but for the time being I am just trying to concentrate on helping the Lions out here."
Jones was due to play for Wales against Canada in Toronto on Saturday night, but was withdrawn from that game and popped on an eighteen hour flight to Auckland when the call came.
"It came right out of the blue, but it was a great feeling when Alan Phillips told me the news," added Jones. "I managed to watch a re-run of the Wales game on television here yesterday morning and I was delighted for the boys that they finished off the tour in such style. Let's hope the Lions can do the same by winning the series out here."
Jones has no idea when he will get his chance, but it seems likely that he will play some part in next week's game against Southland in Invercargill.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.