British & Irish Lions Tour Manager Gerald Davies and Head Coach Ian McGeechan announced today in Dublin the coaching and key backroom staff for the 2009 Tour to South Africa.
The Wales Grand Slam winning trio of coaches Shaun Edwards, Warren Gatland and Rob Howley will join McGeechan in South Africa and will be responsible for defence, forward and backs coaching respectively.
This talented group of internationally experienced coaches are joined in the management team by Craig White who will be responsible for the physical conditioning of the players; doctor James Robson, who will lead the medical team; Rhys Long who will oversee performance analysis and Greg Thomas who heads the media team.
Davies said, "Today is an important milestone in our preparation. The personnel announced today have the proven skill sets to ensure that the Lions squad is well prepared for the tour to South Africa next year.
"The cosmopolitan make-up of the management team reflects the modern nature of Rugby and they, like me, are well aware of the challenges that await us."
Commenting on the coaching appointments McGeechan said, "Lions tours are unique as we have to mold together players from four different countries. There has to be a unified, common approach on the tour with coaches and players working together.
"We therefore have to create a positive environment and appoint the right personnel to help devise the right strategies to take on the Springboks at home. I am delighted with today's appointments and confident that we can come together quickly as preparation time is always short.
"Working with coaches and personnel that I know well and who have successful track records and experience ensures that we will get the best out of the players and provide the greatest chance of winning the test series."
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.
Defending champions Coleg Sir Gar reached their second consecutive Millennium Stadium final as they defeated Coleg Gwent in the WRU Wednesday Under 18 play-off. Watch highlights of their narrow 10-8 win here.