A unique gathering of more than 70 former Welsh international rugby players took place at the Millennium Stadium today (Thursday, 6 November).
The legendary figures of Welsh rugby were invited to the stadium to watch Warren Gatland's team make their final preparations for the Prince William Cup clash with South Africa on Saturday.
Every living Welsh international was invited to a special lunch at the Millennium Stadium as part of a series of events organised by the WRU for former internationals. The Union is hoping to create a full database of everyone who has played for Wales with details of where they now live.
To date, the whereabouts of just over 50 former international players are being sought by the WRU. It is vitally important for the Union to establish contact details for the players because in April there will be a family day at the Millennium Stadium for all ex-internationals and their relatives.
Twenty six British & Irish Lions were in attendance at the event, stretching from Jack Matthews and Bleddyn Williams in 1950 to Ieuan Evans in 1997.
Two Lions tour managers were present - Clive Rowlands from 1989 and the 2009 tour manager Gerald Davies.
Sixteen former captains of Wales and four former Wales coaches (Clive Rowlands, John Dawes, John Lloyd and Ron Waldron) were present, with players from every decade from the Forties on the guest list. Bleddyn Williams was captain of the last Wales team to beat the All Blacks in 1953.
There were 12 players who played a part in the Grand Slam campaigns of 1950, 1971, 1976 and 1978 and three members of Wales' 50 cap club - JPR Williams, Ieuan Evans and Garin Jenkins.
Seven players present were part of the Welsh Rugby World Cup squad that finished third in the inaugural event in 1987 - Anthony Buchanan, Malcolm Dacey, Ieuan Evans, Ray Giles, Paul Thorburn, Mark Titley and Adrian Hadley, while Peter Rogers and Garin Jenkins were part of the Wales side that beat South Africa in the inaugural match of the Millennium Stadium in 1999. Current Wales coaches Neil Jenkins and Rob Howley were also part of that side and were at the Millennium Stadium today for Wales team training.
The WRU has recently developed a 'Heritage Range' of merchandise exclusively available for capped players, which includes a unique cap box, a new international player's tie and cufflinks made by Welsh gold experts, Clogau.
To launch the range, a set of the Clogau cufflinks and a cap box will be presented to Gareth Edwards and Gareth Thomas at the pre-match function ahead of the Wales v South Africa match on Saturday. Edwards was the first player to reach 50 caps for his country, while Thomas became the first centurion.
WRU TV were on hand at the launch of a major new commercial deal with WRU and Mercedes-Benz South Wales (part of the Sinclair Group), which sees the family company become an official supplier to the Welsh Rugby Union
On the back of the recent Women's Rugby World Cup, the WRU has launched a revitalised Women's and Girls domestic seasonal structure, and the future is looking bright.
Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
Roger Lewis talks to WRU TV at the announcement of a new £60 million Rugby Services Agreement (RSA) which provides a new and positive contractual relationship between the WRU and its four Regions for the next six years has been agreed.
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.