Welsh rugby was heralded in Paris on Friday as a major force for helping businesses in Wales punch above their weight around the world.
WRU President Dennis Gethin told business leaders and politicians from France and the UK that the game now plays a vital role in Welsh society.
He was speaking at a reception in the British Embassy in Paris hosted by the Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott hours before the France v Wales international.
The reception was also attended by former Welsh rugby stars such as Jonathan Davies, Derwyn Jones and Gwyn Jones and the Welsh-born wife of the French Prime Minister, Penelope Fillon.
Dennis Gethin said: "I firmly believe that after 130 years of history of the WRU that at long last we are now looking not just at the rugby but at the role rugby plays in helping Welsh businesses punch above their weight around the world.
"This gathering tonight has proved a marvellous opportunity to show leading business people how much rugby means to our nation and to the world.
"Rugby is the fabric of our society and therefore the WRU will be looking to invest more in the grassroots of the game in the years ahead."
First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "Tonight we can celebrate the link between Wales and France which is getting ever closer with the help of rugby. This meeting is a great occasion for celebrating that link and making it work."
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series