Llanelli star Martyn Madden received a last minute call up to join the Wales side on their tour to South Africa.
The Scarlets prop has answered the call after Newport's Chris Anthony fell
victim to a freak training accident.
The 28-year-old powerhouse, who many tipped to become an international star,
says this is the stuff dreams are made of.
"I've dreamed about playing for Wales for so long I wasn't going to let this
pass up," said Madden.
"I had booked a holiday to Jamaica which will now have to be put back and I
intend to work as hard as I can to make the most of this great opportunity.
"The last time I toured with Wales was with the Under 19 team in Canada in
1991. So I'm really excited by the prospect of going to South Africa.
"Everyone has told me I could get a place on the replacements bench because
I can play on either side of the scrum, but I know you can take nothing for
Madden will be one of two uncapped props among the four Wales will travel
with. Iestyn Thomas, who is set to join Madden at Stradey Park next season,
will fill the loose head shirt and Swansea's Ben Evans is set to continue on the tight.
That leaves Pontypridd novice Gethin Jenkins and Madden to fight it out for
a slot on the replacements bench.
"I've been told I've got to work harder and that I must apply my work ethic
for what I do around the field at Llanelli to other parts of my game," said Madden.
"These next two weeks are going to be huge for me and I intend to take my
chance to impress the coaching staff."
Ironically, it was an injury sustained by one of Madden's former Wales Under
15 front row colleagues, Spencer John, which initially opened the door for
him to join the tour.
John injured his knee playing for Cardiff against Swansea and won't play
again until next season. Madden's other Under 15 team mate, Neath hooker
Barry Williams, was dropped from the Welsh squad for the tour.
"I'm the only one left from that front row who hasn't won a full cap, so it
would be nice to make it a full set," said Madden.
"It's just a shame that Spencer got injured and Barry isn't going to South
Africa, maybe one day we'll all pack down together again in the senior Welsh
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
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.