Bill McLaren, known throughout the rugby world as "the voice of rugby", has died at the age of 86.
Mr McLaren retired in 2002 after a radio and television career spanning nearly 50 years in which his distinctive Scottish voice became synonymous with the sport he loved.
He received an OBE, CBE and MBE for services to the sport and combined his work as a broadcaster with that of a PE teacher until 1987. He studied Physical Education in Aberdeen and coached several players who went on to play for Scotland, such as Jim Renwick, Colin Deans and Tony Stanger.
McLaren died this morning in the community hospital in his hometown of Hawick in the Scottish Borders. Hawick's club secretary, John Thorburn, led the tributes, saying: "We're devastated, obviously. We've got a room named after him at the rugby club. It was very close to his heart, Hawick rugby club. He's a huge loss to rugby worldwide."
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis paid the following tribute.
"Bill Maclaren was not just the voice of rugby throughout the world and in Wales, he was an integral part of many a fans match-day experience and rugby education and part of the rich history of our national game.
"Many a young boy or girl has fallen in love with rugby union to the sound of Bill's commentaries and also because of them and many of them will have gone on to take up the sport and even represent their countries.
"When he retired from the game he was missed in the manner that many of the greatest players in Welsh rugby history have been, which is some accolade in itself, before you consider he was a Scotsman.
"But Bill transcended nationality, his passion was for the game of rugby and his ability was to be able to enrich the viewing experience of anyone who had the great pleasure to listen to him.
"Just as he was sorely missed and his loss from the game reverberated around the world when he retired, his passing now will be equally felt. Bill will be fondly remembered as one of the greatest servants of our national sport."
WRU chairman and former Wales captain David Pickering added, "Bill was legendary as a broadcaster, he was a thorough professional and the players adored him. He would come to our training sessions when we were playing in Scotland or if he was covering a game in Wales, usually with a bag of Hawick balls, the sweets from his area.
"I remember him coming up to talk to me at a training session before my first cap to ensure he would be able to identify me during the game.
"He was a true gentleman with a charming personality and everyone thought the world of him."
The WRU will remember Bill McLaren at the Wales v Scotland match at the Millennium Stadium on February 13.
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event
GB7s women left their England base to train in Wales this week. Olympic Games hopeful Rachael Burford gives WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie her thoughts on Welsh teammate Jasmine Joyce - a 'one touch wonder'
The GB7s women's squad is currently training at Wales' Centre of Excellence where assistant coach Richie Pugh tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie some 'tough calls' will have to be made when it comes to finalising the 12 spots for Rio's Olympic Games.