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.
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.