It may have taken five long hard years to become a major force in Europe, but the Cardiff Blues enter their Heineken Cup quarter-final showdown at the Millennium Stadium showdown against French giants Toulouse in buoyant mood.
David Young's side completed the pool stages of this year's tournament as top seeds and are seriously tipped to knock over Toulouse. Young's hopes have been further boosted with the news that several of his key players who have been carrying niggling injuries came through a training session today unscathed.
Leigh Halfpenny, Gareth Thomas, Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush, Tom Shanklin and Andy Powell have all been deemed fit to play, but as a confident Young explained, if a player isn't 100 per cent fit, he won't be on the squad come Saturday.
"If they are not 100 per cent fit then they won't be involved, it's as simple as that," he said. "We went flat out today so we'll just have to see if there is any reaction tomorrow. But I don't foresee any problems."
With a full strength squad to select from, the Blues supremo will have to burn the midnight oil before deciding his team.
"For every happy player there will be an unhappy one," he admitted "There will obviously be a few disappointed players and I have some selection headaches but our match day 22 will have the self belief and determination and must be prepared to stand and deliver."
He added: "We've built year on year with better players, and the younger players have got more experienced and got used to bigger games and performing in bigger games.
"The belief and the confidence is there but we tinge that with a bit of reality that we have still got things to improve on and we are not the finished article.
"We are as good as anybody on our day but if we are not at our best, we could come second best. We have been consistent in our performances in this competition this season. We came away with all the results I asked of the players but obviously it wasn't much of a reward getting Toulouse in the quarter-finals.
"But we are confident if we can play to our potential that we pull a big a big win off against one of the true giants in European rugby. They will probably come here confident of getting a result, but we have got to worry about ourselves. We will be very respectful of them, look at where their strengths and weaknesses are and it's up to us to impose our game."
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
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.