Stadium manager Mark Williams and WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis earlier today at the Millennium Stadium.
The greatest ever Millennium Stadium make-over will begin today, as the Welsh Rugby Union Group announce that work has commenced to install a new hybrid pitch ahead of Wales' autumn Internationals.
A new DESSO pitch system, which intertwines grass turf with millions of artificial fibres, will be installed as part of a major refurbishment project to revolutionise the quality of the playing surface at the home of Welsh rugby in time for the 2014 Dove Men Series clashes against Australia (8 Nov), Fiji (15 Nov), New Zealand (22 Nov) and South Africa (29 Nov).
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: "This is a momentous day for the Welsh Rugby Union as this work will revolutionise the playing field at the Millennium Stadium and transform the venue to a level that rivals any other in Europe.
"As contractors start to arrive at work today with the relevant plant and machinery, this project will literally be ground-breaking, as we set about completing the greatest renovation undertaking in the stadium's history in time for a feast of Autumn Test matches and, in just over one year, Rugby World Cup 2015."
From today a construction fence marks out the site that was once the unique palletized pitch on which the Welsh rugby team have played 100 rugby matches in front of more than 6.25 million fans.
As the project makes headway this week, up to 20 contractors with their various plant are expected to arrive on site, initiating the regular deliveries scheduled for throughout the summer.
The project will be the greatest undertaking in the history of the Millennium Stadium, which has staged over 350 major events since it first opened to host Rugby World Cup 1999.
The new surface is set to be in place for the 2014/15 season; one year to go until Rugby World Cup 2015 brings eight games, including two of Wales' pool games and two quarter finals, to the Millennium Stadium.
The multi-million pound renovation also includes the installation of the latest 'plug and play' technology for broadcasters at all sides of the pitch and a Terraplas cover to protect the new DESSO surface.
The project opens up a host of new and exciting opportunities for grassroots rugby in Wales as well as serving the must-visit, must-play venue across a range of non-pitch events such as live music and motorsports.
Mr Lewis added: "The new pitch system has the potential to benefit the entire breadth of Welsh rugby, as a more durable pitch at the home of Welsh sport unleashes far greater potential to showcase the grassroots game on Wales' national turf. The new Terraplas covering is also hugely significant and will ensure that the WRU can continue to attract a plethora of the biggest and best events to the Millennium Stadium and the heart of Cardiff."
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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.