The Welsh rugby family is mourning the passing of one of its brightest young stars following the death from cancer of Gareth Jenkins.
The Ospreys and Wales Under 18 prop finally lost his battle against the disease last week. His funeral is due to take place at Christ Church, Oystermouth Road tomorrow (Tuesday, 2 December) when mourners have been asked to wear rugby jerseys to the service.
The Swansea College student had played rugby from the age of 10 and had been in representative sides throughout his career - West Wales Under 11, Swansea Schoolboys and Wales Under 18.
An only child, he lived at home in Swansea with his parents, Clyde and Carolyn. He attended Bishop Gore School before moving on to Swansea College.
He learned his rugby at school and at Bonymaen RFC before capturing the attention of the Ospreys and joining their junior set-up. He made his Wales debut against England as a replacement on 2 March and won five caps in all.
He made one start for his country, in the 43-10 victory over Italy, and played a part in four Welsh victories in five matches.
Gareth was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma in April and is likely to have played for Wales while suffering from the problem. That demonstrated his dedication to the cause and his commitment to his country.
"This is a terrible tragedy for Gareth's family and his friends and I offer the deepest sympathies of everyone connected with Welsh rugby to them," said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.
"There is little doubt that Gareth had a big future ahead of him in the professional game and that one day he could have fulfilled his dream of representing Wales at the Millennium Stadium."
Donations can be made to children's cancer charity Clic Sargent as a mark of respect for Gareth's life.
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.