Mike Phillips, Ospreys, Wales and star of the 2009 British & Irish Lions, has become an ambassador for the children's charity touraid.
touraid was established to provide youngsters from developing countries a chance to play rugby in the UK - to tour for a week, friends for a lifetime.
The key objective of the Charity is to create lasting legacies between those that become involved in the touring teams; to establish educational, social and economic links between the visiting children and schools and clubs in this country. Following the success of the many rugby tours that have brought disadvantaged children to the UK, other sports and the performing arts are now covered by the touraid model.
Mike Phillips joins former Springbok and World Cup winner, Chester Williams; London Irish and England World Cup Winner Mike Catt; Wasps and England star Danny Cipriani; and former England Women's captain, Sue Day as Ambassadors who help promote the Charity's activities and lend their time and energy to the cause.
He said, "I am very proud to have been chosen to be an Ambassador for touraid. I work with young people whenever I can now because I remember what an amazing experience it was for me to meet professional players when I was younger.
"I am looking forward to meeting the kids when they come over and also seeing first hand how rugby can have a positive effect on their communities. Watching some footage of kids living on the dumps in Cambodia was distressing but seeing how happy they were when they came over to the UK to experience the buzz of the sport was testament to the great job that touraid does. Through working with touraid we will see rugby and other sports making a difference to their lives."
touraid representative Mike Gadbury said. "It is wonderful that Mike wants to help kids all over the world through touraid. He will be a great inspiration for the kids and everyone else involved."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.