Wales coach Warren Gatland has hailed the nominations of Shane Williams and Ryan Jones for the International Rugby Board Player of the Year award as the latest high accolade for his 2008 Grand Slam winning squad.
Williams and Jones have made a short list of just five players in the World game to be considered for one of the finest honours in rugby and Gatland believes that the fact two players have been nominated from his victorious side is an extra shot in the arm for national pride.
"To have one player from your squad nominated for an award like this would be a proud moment, but the fact that both Shane and Ryan are in contention should be looked on as a testament to the hard work and effort of the whole squad," said Gatland.
"Both have individual qualities, Shane Williams has been in sparkling form and not only lit up the Six Nations but also shone on our tour to South Africa in the summer.
"Ryan returned from injury just before the Six Nations to lead from the front and the leadership role he fulfils has been integral to our achievements and should not be underestimated.
"But to have two player's recognised in the top five of the world game is the highest accolade and the nation, together with all of the Wales coaches and national squad, should take great pride in that fact."
The IRB Player of the Year award winner will be announced at the IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline in London on November 23.
Scotland scrum half Mike Blair, New Zealand fly half and 2005 IRB Player of the Year Dan Carter and Italy captain Sergio Parisse join Wales pair Williams and Jones in being been nominated for the Game's most prestigious award.
"The IRB Player of the Year Award is the ultimate accolade for a player and takes into account performances in all the major internationals played during the year including the RBS Six Nations, Tri Nations Series and the June-July tests," said International Rugby Board Chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
"The list of past winners of this coveted award is impressive and reads like a who's who of the international Game in recent years. Jonny Wilkinson, Schalk Burger, Richie McCaw, Fabien Galthie, Dan Carter, Keith Wood were all worthy recipients of the award, while Carter would be the first player to win twice should he be selected," added Lapasset.
The nominees were selected by the Awards' independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with over 500 test caps between them. The panel, which also votes on the IRB Team and Coach of the Year during the same period, has deliberated over every major test this year.
Tana Umaga, Raphael Ibanez, Will Greenwood, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Gavin Hastings, Scott Quinnell, Paul Wallace and convenor John Eales watched over 47 hours of action from 35 matches, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.
"Now that the shortlist has been selected the panel will reconvene during the November tests in the northern hemisphere when the IRB Player of the Year will be selected. The announcement will be made at the IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline in London on November 23, which is the most prestigious annual celebration of the international Game," added Lapasset.
The IRB Player of the Year is one of 13 categories of awards that include the IRB Coach of the Year, IRB Team of the Year, IRB Sevens Player of the Year, IRB Junior Player of the Year and IRB Women's Personality of the Year. The event also recognises outstanding achievement and there are two awards run in conjunction with the International Rugby Players Association (IRPA); the IRPA Special Merit award and the IRPA Try of the Year.
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.
WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey met with volunteers across the game earlier this week, championing their role in the sport. He was joined by Wales captain Sam Warburton for part of the day as volunteers took part in a 'Try Out' event for the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Wales Women may not have got the results they wanted recently on the field, but off it they have made massive strides in strength and conditioning - and that is in no small part due to S&C coach Sam Dodge.
Two weeks into the new pitch project at Millennium Stadium, Groundman Craig Campbell takes staff on a unique behind-the-scene tour of the works so far and National Squad Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach John Ashby and Tour Guide Peter Owen describe what the revamp means for them.
Try-scorer Jenny Davies and fellow prop Megan York reveal to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie their thoughts after Wales broke their drought in the Women's Rugby World Cup with a 35-3 win over South Africa in Paris.
Wales Women are expecting a tough battle against South Africa on Saturday as both teams seek their first pool win of the Rugby Women's World Cup. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie talks to head coach Rhys Edwards and lock Jenny Hawkins.
Wales' Sam Warburton took a group of employees from Admiral on a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium and WRU TV tagged along to bring you a snippet of what it's like for the players on match day