Graham Henry says Wales have made the right decision in planning a gruelling summer schedule which includes a meeting with South Africa in Cardiff before the two-Test tour of New Zealand next month.
The All Blacks boss - who coached Wales between 1998 and 2002 - insists the tough tests could prove key for Warren Gatland's men in the build up to next year's World Cup.
Wales face the world champion Springboks at the Millennium Stadium in the Principality Building Society Summer Test on Saturday 5th June, before embarking on a tour of Gatland's homeland which takes in Wales' world cup venues of Dunedin on Saturday 19th June and in Hamilton a week later.
"I think it will be a very exciting prospect for Warren and he will be looking forward to bringing a Welsh side out here," said Henry. "I think the trip to New Zealand will help Wales before the World Cup next year.
"Warren was keen for the Welsh side to come here and experience New Zealand conditions. Warren has said if you want to be among the best you have to play the best.
"You will improve for having those experiences and you will certainly know where you are. So I think that is a correct statement and sentiment from Warren."
Rob Howley and Josh Lewsey addressed more than 250 community club coaches and referees at the first WRU National Community Conference on the weekend. The volunteers benefitted from coaching masterclasses and workshops in a bid to connect all levels of the rugby pathway in Wales.
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.
The Wales Under 20 camp are in a quietly confident mood as they face Ireland in the U20 Championship, with Coaching Co-Ordinator Allan Lewis and full back Dafydd Howells targeting a top five finish in the tournament.