Two years ago Lloyd Burns was a bricklayer playing semi-pro rugby for Cross Keys in the Principality Premiership, now he stands on the verge of representing Wales at the World Cup.
Burns, 26, has been selected as one of four hookers in Warren Gatland's preliminary 45-man World Cup squad.
Wales met at their Vale of Glamorgan base for the first time yesterday as they begin their preparations for the September tournament and Burns is hoping he can continue his rapid rise.
At the beginning of the season the former brickie was third choice hooker at Newport Gwent Dragons and on a dual-contract with the Keys. But after seizing his opportunity at Rodney Parade Burns has laid the foundations to fulfil a lifetime dream.
"At the beginning of the season I was at Cross Keys on a dual-contract with the Dragons," Burns told the Rugby Paper.
"I was third choice behind Tom (Willis) and Steve (Jones) while Duane Goodfield was out injured.
"I was just aiming to work hard with the Dragons in the week and play for Cross Keys on the weekends. I didn't expect to get much game time.
"It's been an unbelievable season and I never thought this would happen, it was always a long shot.
"On a personal level I've been quite fortunate that Tom and Steve have had injuries and I've taken the opportunity.
"I always thought I was capable of playing at a higher level I just didn't expect it to come so soon."
Burns made his Wales debut as a second-half replacement against the Barbarians to cap a truly memorable weekend.
On the Friday, just a day before the Baa-Baas clash, Burns was walking down the aisle as he married his partner of nine years Rachael.
"I trained up until Thursday and just had the Friday off for the wedding. But with the Baa-Baas game the next day I had to spend the night drinking pints of squash," added Burns.
"A few of the boys were trying to tempt me with a drink but the missus was happy that I wasn't so in a way it was a blessing in disguise.
"The game the next day was unbelievable, that's the reason why you play rugby. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
"Ive been to the Millennium Stadium quite a few times to watch but I just can't explain what it was like to play there. Now I've had a taste I'm determined to be involved at the World Cup.
"I'll train hard to make sure I'm as fit as possible, keep on doing what I've done all season and play my own game."
Mr and Mrs Burns had to put off their honeymoon due to the Welsh call-up but the destructive hooker is more than happy to wait a little bit longer.
"We didn't book a honeymoon. With the rugby we were holding off to see what happened but we've managed to have a little break in Devon this weekend.
"It would mean everything for me to go to the World Cup. It's every player's dream to represent their country at the World Cup.
"It's a bit of a win-win situation for me. If I miss out, although disappointing, it means we can go on our honeymoon a bit sooner!"
Burns finds himself with plenty of competition for the No.2 jersey. As captain, Matthew Rees appears nailed on for a starting spot. But the Talywain-product hopes his work-rate around the pitch can prove a decisive factor.
"Richard Hibbard and Huw Bennett are qualities player. When you come to Wales there's real quality right through the set-up. Everything about it is so much more intense.
"But I feel I can do what a hooker needs to do and play like an extra back-row around the field.
"I always played in the back-row and only made the switch to hooker four seasons ago but it's definitely paid off. I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't.
"For me one of the best things you can do is to win turnovers, it's the best ball to play off.
"I also like to carry the ball. I want to come off the pitch feeling like I've been in a game."
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.