Mike Ruddock has paid tribute to the ten Wales Grand Slam stars who earned themselves selection for the 2005 British & Irish Lions squad.
Gavin Henson, Stephen Jones, Shane Williams, Tom Shanklin were among seven Welsh backs to be rewarded for the attacking style that claimed the RBS Six Nations crown. The collection of fleet-footed backs also included both scrum-halves, Dwayne Peel and Gareth Cooper, as well as skipper Gareth Thomas who was joined by his successor Michael Owen in impressing Sir Clive Woodward with his leadership qualities. Cardiff Blues pair Gethin Jenkins and Martyn Williams made up the ten-man haul for Wales.
"We're obviously delighted that ten members of the Wales squad have been selected to tour New Zealand with the Lions this summer," said Ruddock. "Obviously I would love to have seen the entire squad being selected but I'm sure those who were selected will be the first to thank the rest of the players for the performances during the RBS Six Nations that will have boosted their chances.
"Having ten British Lions is testament to the hard-work and determination of the players, the management and the regional teams. Knowing those players as I do, they will all be aiming now to claim a place in that Test team to face the All Blacks."
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference