Pontypridd points-machine Brett Davey has spoken out following his sides amazing PARKER PEN SHIELD semi-final victory over London Irish.
"At the final whistle we were all ecstatic. It was a great day for the club and everyone concerned with Pontypridd Rugby Football Club." said Davey, who scored 14 points in the 33-27 victory over the Exiles.
Although Pontypridd spent the previous six seasons battling it out in the Heineken Cup, this was by far and away their most successful European day.
In 1998/99 they progressed to the final eight of the Heineken Cup before being outgunned 71-14 by Stade Francais, but on Saturday, at Oxford United's Kassam Stadium, the Welshmen laid all previous European ghosts to rest as they blew away Powergen Cup winners London Irish with some scintillating rugby.
Pontypridd led 14-0 and 21-7 in the early stages of the first half, but the game swung like a pendulum after that with the Exiles never too far behind.
Davey said, "We always felt that London Irish had the ability to get back into the game, and so it proved. But we always felt that we were in control of our own destiny."
The victory has already sent strong signals across Europe whilst further confirming that Welsh rugby has definite strength in depth at club level.
"It's a huge boost to the club and the players and it's put Pontypridd back on the European club rugby map," added Davey.
Now, Pontypridd will have to conquer another English side if their quest for European glory is to be realised. Sale Sharks will be their opponents, once again at the Kassam Stadium, on Sunday, May 26th
"We've identified several key players. Jason Robinson and Charlie Hodgson are both very influential. But they have a very good pack too, so we're under no illusion about how difficult it's going to be."
Pontypridd have upset the applecart before, but this promises to be a real test of character for the self-proclaimed Valley Commandos.
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.