Taylor leads nostalgic Principality Stadium campaign
11 January 2016 14:33
By Gemma Rowe
Mark Taylor was the first to score a try at the Millennium Stadium, in 1999
Mark Taylor - the Millennium Stadium's debut try scorer - will be the first WRU employee to share his favourite stadium memory on the WRU's social media channels today as part of a joint campaign with Principality Building Society in the countdown to the launch of Principality Stadium on 22 January.
...also ranking right up there would be the first game of the World Cup in 1999 which was a huge occasion and probably a day that I'll never forget.
The current WRU U20s manager kick-started Wales' first win over South Africa when he crossed in the first half of the 26 June 1999 meeting which also saw the venue open its doors to the public for the first time - albeit to a 28,000 crowd - ahead of Rugby World Cup 1999.
Wales would beat the Springboks a second time more than 15 years later in the 2014 Dove Men Series, giving them a record of two wins, one draw and 28 losses against the Southern Hemisphere super power.
And both victories feature as part of 110 international Test matches for Wales and an illustrious list of over 400 major events over the 16 year life of the 'Millennium Stadium'.
As the venue prepares for a new era as Principality Stadium, to mark a 10-year investment in Welsh Rugby from Principality Building Society, Taylor's greatest memories will be shared on WRU's social media channels using #makemorememories and #principalitystadium.
He said: "My most memorable occasions at the stadium would be obviously the first ever game at the stadium in '99 where I was lucky enough to score the first try there and also get the first victory over South Africa."
Mark was also involved for the opening World Cup match when Wales beat Argentina 23-18 in front of 72,500 fans on 1st October, 1999.
He added: "And also ranking right up there would be the first game of the World Cup in 1999 which was a huge occasion and probably a day that I'll never forget."
During the countdown to the launch of the new name later this month, the WRU will continue to release memories from selected employees working behind-the-scenes at the iconic venue across a rich history of world-class sport and entertainment.
Major events at the stadium attract around 770,000 paying visitors each year and an additional 50,000-plus people visit the venue annually for guided tours.
In rugby terms, some of the greatest players have featured across Rugby World Cup 1999, 2007 and 2015 as well as in five Heineken Cup Finals. While football fans will remember an elite line-up of stars to grace six FA Cup Finals, Football League play-offs a host of Welsh football internationals and 11 Olympic football matches during London 2012.
Principality launched #makemorememories last week with employees and Members sharing their memories on Principality's social media channels. The campaign allows fans to relive and share these occasions and more from world-class boxing to international music stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Take That and One Direction.
Future stadium visitors are also invited to share their excitement for upcoming events at Principality Stadium including Rihanna's Anti-World Tour in June 2016 and UEFA Champions League 2017 using the unique hashtag.
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.