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."
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.