Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis has hailed the upcoming fixture between Japan and Russia at Parc Eirias this Friday night as a testament to the work of the WRU, Conwy County Borough Council and the Welsh Government in developing a top class sports facility for North Wales.
And his sentiments were echoed today by First Minister Carwyn Jones who said the fixture will be yet another landmark in the history of Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay.
Parc Eirias, which opened officially in 2011, has already hosted Wales Under 20 matches and international fixtures. It has also hosted other major events in the area such as Access All Eirias. The £6.5m centre was backed by £4.8m from the Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, the Targeted Match Fund and Strategic Area Regeneration Funding.
Looking ahead to the match on Friday the First Minister said: "It is almost two years to the day since Parc Eirias was officially opened and it has already proved itself as a major attraction for international events and an important resource for the local area. Friday's international game between Japan and Russia will be a further boost for the area, raising its profile further.
"Parc Eirias is a top class sports facility and I wish the organisers all the best for the important fixture on Friday. The centre also highlights the benefits which European funding brings to Wales. Thanks to this investment we have an excellent sporting facility and base for rugby in North Wales."
Cllr Graham Rees, Conwy Council's Cabinet Member for Tourism, Marketing and Leisure said: "We're proud that we've been able to secure this international fixture for Eirias. It's clear there are many fans and enthusiastic spectators here in North Wales and we're pleased to be able to offer the facilities for everyone to enjoy top flight rugby."
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: "Together the WRU, Conwy County Borough Council and the Welsh Government have developed Eirias to be a top class sports facility for North Wales.
"The 5,500 capacity Parc Eirias regularly hosts Wales U20 international matches and the WRU is keen to encourage the appetite for rugby that has been created in the region after the successes of home club side RGC 1404 in achieving promotion to the Championship last year.
"It is with great pleasure that we will be welcoming Japan back to Wales this Friday after taking our touring side to their shores this summer.
"It will also not go un-noticed in Parc Eirias that Japan pulled off an historic victory over Wales during the second Test of the tour and the fans will be looking forward to seeing what they have to offer up close. This fixture is critical for rugby, is important for our relationship with the two great nations of Russia and Japan, and is an ideal way to show off the fantastic facilities at Parc Eirias.
"We are certain the rugby public of North Wales will fully support this initiative and give the visiting teams a great welcome."
The fixture forms part of a bumper weekend of world-class sport in the area as North Wales also hosts Wales Rally GB.
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'.