Millennium Stadium Manager Mark Williams has confirmed that the project to install a new Desso Grassmaster pitch is progressing well at the city-centre venue.
Just seven days since work commenced on Monday 21 July, the stadium has undergone significant transformation with the contractors, Hewitt Sportsturf, remaining bang on schedule.
As the project enters into week two of the anticipated 15 week project, 50% of the drainage systems for the irrigation system and under pitch heating have already been installed.
The next step is to layer the surface with the tons of gravel, which is currently creating a mini mountain range on the other half of the stadium bowl, after it arrived by the lorry-load on Wednesday and Thursday last week.
"The Millennium Stadium project began in earnest last week and we have not been disappointed," said Mr Williams. "The contractors arrived last Monday morning with a team of four, some spray paint, a measuring tape and a theodolite to mark out the new surface. This was duly done before all of the plant started to arrive on Tuesday and the diggers, earth movers, dumper trucks, rollers, diamond saws were all unloaded ready to start work.
"On Wednesday and Thursday, the drainage system was cut into the flooring and connected to the existing system while the lorry-loads of gravel started to arrive in anticipation for what is today's task of layering the irrigation pipes in preparation for the installation of the under-pitch heating system.
"We've already seen a huge amount of work carried out in the first seven days. This bodes well for the remainder of the project, which is a milestone endeavour in the Millennium Stadium's proud history of attracting major events to Cardiff.
He added: "This is a really exciting time for Welsh rugby and we are thrilled that, one week in, we're well on track to reveal our new pitch for the players, coaches, match officials and, of course, the fans that will make the home of Welsh rugby a very special place during the Autumn Internationals against Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa in November."
The new surface is set to be in place for the 2014 Dove Men Series, with ten months then remaining before Rugby World Cup 2015 brings eight games, including two of Wales' pool games and two quarter finals, to Cardiff.
The 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.
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.