OPENING SHOTS FROM THE 2002 LLOYDS TSB SIX NATIONS CHAMPI0NSHIP
* What a day for Irish lock Paul O'Connell on his debut. With the game only 23 minutes old he was driven over for a try as the Irish went on the rampage in their record breaking 54-10 victory over Wales. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old Munster forward, his game came to a premature end eight minutes later when he was forced out of the action with a head wound.
* Other debutants who tasted victory on the opening weekend of the championship were England hooker Steve Thompson, English replacement scrum half Nick Duncombe, French No 8 Steve Hall and French replacement scrum half Alexandre Albouy.
* Not so lucky on their introduction to international rugby were Wales wing Craig Morgan, Italy No 8 Matt Phillips and Italian full back replacement Mirco Bergamasco.
* Mirco Bergamasco did, however, have the honour of becoming the youngest player to represent Italy when he came on as a blood replacement for wing Roberto Pedrazzi after 46 minutes and then a full replacement for full back Paulo Vaccari after 72 minutes. Mirco, who was 21 days short of his 19th birthday, joined elder brother Mauro on the field and followed in the footsteps of his father, Arutro, in becoming an international.
* The honour of scoring the first points in the 2002 Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship fell to Italian legend Diego Dominguez, who kicked a penalty three minutes into the opening match at Stade de France. The first try came in first half injury time when the French centre Damien Traille broke through to score.
* French outside half Gerald Merceron went to the top of the points scoring lists after the first weekend of the championship as he helped himself to 23 points. But the Montferrand outside half missed out on what would have been a French championship record when he missed the conversion of Serge Betsen's last minute try. He also missed a point blank range penalty in the first half that would have seen him pass the 24 points tally notched by Sebastien Viars against Ireland in 1992 and by Christophe Lamaison against Scotland in 1997.
* Irish referee Alan Lewis laid out his stall at Stade de France as he sent five players to the sin-bin - one from France and four from Italy. It meant the Italians spent 40 minutes of the match reduced to 14 men and almost three minutes reduced to 13 men when both Matt Phillips and Diego Dominguez were off the field together. When Italian lock Carlo Checchinato was sin-binned for throwing a punch in the first-half, it ws the third time in three Six Nations Championships he had seen yellow.
LEADING POINTS SCORERS
23 Gerald Merceron (France)
22 David Humphreys (Ireland)
12 Diego Dominguez (Italy)
10 Stephen Jones (Wales)
Geordan Murphy (Ireland)
Jason Robinson (England)
LEADING TRY SCORERS
2 Geordan Murphy (Ireland)
2 Jason Robinson (England)
1 Mike Tindall (England)
Ben Cohen (England)
Ronan O'Gara (Ireland)
Damien Traille (France)
Serge Betsen (France)
Paul O'Connell (Ireland)
Keith Gleeson (Ireland)
Denis Hickie (Ireland)
Stephen Jones (Wales)
France: David Auradou (v Italy, 22 mins: foul play)
Italy: Carlo Checchinato (v France, 35 mins: foul play), Mauro Bortolami (v France, 43 mins: technical offence), Matt Phillips (v France, 53 mins: technical offence), Diego Dominguez (v France, 61 mins: technical offence)
LLOYDS TSB MAN OF THE MATCH AWARDS
France v Italy: Damien Traille (France)
Scotland v England: Will Greenwood (England)
Ireland v Wales: David Humphreys (Ireland)
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.