"It's obviously a huge honour to follow in the footsteps of someone like Bill, who has been an integral part of all that has been good about Six Nations rugby during his eight years as Vice Chairman," said Pickering. "These are exciting times in the world game, the RBS Six Nations tournament grows in stature and significance year on year and will remain the envy of the international rugby playing world for many years to come.
"Its always a privilege to be nominated by our international partners, I consider it a great honour to have been handed the privilege and I hope to emulate the wonderful achievements Bill delivered. It's important that Wales is represented at the highest level and I am determined to give of my best both for the Six Nations and for Wales as a rugby nation."
The Six Nations Council, during a meeting in Paris yesterday, also voted to extend Jacques Laurans's (FFR) Chairmanship for another year until April 2008, which will include the Rugby World Cup in France. Mr Laurans has been Chairman since September 2002 when he succeeded Alan Hosie. Malcolm Gillies from the SRU was appointed Chairman of the Age Grade sub-committee.
Welsh Rugby Union Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis added: "David is a statesman who carries great respect within Welsh Rugby and the world game and he represents everything that is honourable and good about our national sport.
"Our Union is extremely proud to have such high representation in Northern Hemisphere rugby. David is held in high esteem by all the leaders of the world game and we know he will exceed all expectations in every task he undertakes in his new position."
Mr Pickering was born in Briton Ferry, the 46-year-old company director took over from Glanmor Griffiths as Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union at the WRU AGM in Port Talbot on Saturday 26th July 2003. He became the first chairman of the new style, 18 strong Board of Directors of the Union, and the third in line following Vernon Pugh and the now WRU President Glanmor Griffiths, who chaired the old General Committee.
Pickering was unanimously elected at the first meeting of the Board that took place on the stage at the Civic Centre, Port Talbot, between the AGM and the EGM called by 12 clubs from District G. Capped by Wales Schools at U15 and U18 levels from Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive and Neath College, he also played for Welsh Universities while a student at the University of Wales.
He won the first of his 23 caps as an openside flanker from Llanelli in the drawn game against England in Cardiff in 1983. All his caps came while he was playing at Stradey Park and he skippered Wales on eight occasions.
David Francis Pickering
Born: Briton Ferry 16th December 1960
Height: 6'1" Weight: 14st 7lbs
School: Cwrt Sart; Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive; 6th Form College, Neath; University of Wales
Clubs: Llanelli & Neath (joined 1987-88)
Wales Schools U15 (1976 v Italy, South Scotland)
Wales Senior Schools (1979 v Wales Youth, Scotland, Ireland, France, England)
Wales 23 caps as a flanker (all from Llanelli) - eight as captain
1983 England (Cardiff) - Draw
1983 Scotland (Murrayfield) - Win
1983 Ireland (Cardiff) - Win
1983 France (Paris) - Loss
1983 Romania (Bucharest) - Loss
1984 Scotland (Cardiff) - Loss
1984 Ireland (Dublin) - Win
1984 France (Cardiff) - Loss
1984 England (Twickenham) - Win
1984 Australia (Cardiff) - Loss
1985 Scotland (Murrayfield) - Win TWO TRIES
1985 Ireland (Cardiff) - Loss
1985 France (Paris) - Loss
1985 England (Cardiff) - Win
1985 Fiji (Cardiff) TRY - Win
1986 *England (Twickenham) - Loss
1986 *Scotland (Cardiff) - Win
1986 *Ireland (Dublin) - Win
1986 *France (Cardiff) - Win
1986 *Fiji (Suva) - Win
1987 *France (Paris) - Loss
1987 *England (Cardiff) - Win
1987 *Scotland (Murrayfield) - Loss
Coached Neath 1991-1992; 1992-1993; 1993-1994
Wales Team Manager from summer 1998, resigned in April 2001
Elected to WRU General Committee in July 1998
Welsh Challenge Cup Final Winner: 1985 (Llanelli); 1989 (Neath)
Welsh Challenge Cup Final Runner-up: 1988 (Neath)