Rhys Williams has been forced to retire from rugby after a serious knee injury at just 29 years of age.
Williams enjoyed a distinguished career with Cardiff, and Cardiff Blues and was capped at all age grade levels for his country. After earning the regions' captaincy in 2005-06, Williams had a string of injuries that have ultimately called time on his career.
"I'd like to thank everyone at the Cardiff Blues and to all the supporters for all the encouragement they have given me, especially over the challenges of the last few seasons," he said.
"I'm obviously massively disappointed to receive the news from the Doctors, but I hope in the future to look back on my rugby career and be proud of my achievements in the game."
Cardiff Blues CEO, Robert Norster explained: "Having fought so tirelessly to repeatedly rehabilitate following an appalling catalogue of injuries, it is fully understandable that this day has sadly now arrived. However, an enforced and premature retirement it most certainly is at the tender age of just 29 years of age.
"Throughout his entire illustrious playing career with Cardiff RFC, the Blues and the Wales national team, Rhys Gethin Williams has consistently proved to be the proverbial model professional.
Blues Director of Rugby, David Young added: "It is always a sad day when a player is forced to hang up his boots and even sadder one when one of the genuine good guys is put in that position which Rhys most certainly is. On the field, his pace and elusive qualities were an integral part of his success and marked him out as a special performer with try-scoring abilities up there with the very best to have ever worn the shirt. His game understanding is also of the highest order as was evident in his time as captain of the team and will serve him well in any onward involvement in the game he may choose to pursue."
"On behalf of everyone at the Blues, I wish him every success following what has been a long, successful and distinguished playing career".
Williams concluded: "Rugby has been a huge part of my life and has given me many wonderful opportunities and memories. I've been fortunate enough to see the world while playing the game I love and have met a lot of people and made many lifelong friends."
"To captain the Cardiff Blues during the 2005/06 season was a huge honour and I'm also proud that I've only ever played for my home town of Cowbridge and for Cardiff and the Blues."
"I'm also very proud to have represented my country on 44 occasions. I would especially like to thank my wife Liz and family for all their support and also to my namesake, surgeon Rhys Williams and the Cardiff Blues medical team headed up by Tim Atter for all their efforts over the last year."
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.
The unique jeopardy of Judgement Day V has been described by stars from Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons who will face each other in the annual double-header at Principality Stadium on 15th April.
School club hub officers in schools throughout Wales are enriching lives by helping pupils to engage more with their education, their community and improve their own outlook on life and future prospects by improving confidence and developing skills such as leadership.