Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones has been inducted into the NSPCC's Hall of Fame at an exclusive ceremony at the House of Commons today (Wednesday). Ryan was due to attend the event to collect his award in person, but his last minute call-up to the Lions means he'll be presented with the award towards the end of the summer on home turf.
Jones, who is also the children's champion for the Welsh Rugby Union, has been recognised by the children's charity for his contribution towards ending child cruelty to children by supporting campaigns across Wales including the Child's Voice Appeal, Building Brighter Futures Appeal and the NSPCC's annual Big Bike Ride.
He said: "I'm honoured and delighted to be in the Hall of Fame 2009. I take my role as children's champion for the Welsh Rugby Union very seriously and am proud to be associated with the work of the NSPCC.
"I have supported the NSPCC for over three years and it's incredibly rewarding to know that my support has played a part in ending cruelty to children. The NSPCC plays a vital role in changing attitudes and behaviours as well as delivering services for the benefit of children and young people across the UK and I hope that my involvement will encourage others to help in the fight to protect children."
NSPCC Cymru/Wales Director, Greta Thomas, said: "The celebrities inducted into the Hall of Fame have shown huge enthusiasm and commitment to the NSPCC's aim of ending child cruelty. They have fundraised, fronted campaigns and spoken passionately about the work of the charity, encouraging others to act now to end child abuse. This award is an opportunity for us to give them a special thank you and let them know how much we appreciate their support and dedication."
Welsh Rugby Union Child Protection consultant Mark Williams-thomas added, "Ryan's involvement in our work has significantly raised the profile of Child Protection within Welsh rugby.
"His down-to-earth approach is easily identifiable within the grassroots game and we look forward to continuing our work in promoting child safety in rugby in the future."
Theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, TV presenter Fiona Bruce, and TV stars Graham Cole, Beth Cordingly and Vicky Alcock were also honoured at today's event.
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.