WRU chairman David Pickering has praised the hard work and vision of former WRU and IRB chairman, the late Vernon Pugh, in Rugby Sevens being recommended for inclusion in the Olympic Games.
Pugh was the first permanent IRB chairman and from his appointment to the game's governing body in 1994, the march towards Olympic recognition began in earnest, after fellow Welshman, the then IRB secretary Keith Rowlands had begun the process of reuniting Rugby with the Olympic movement (Rugby was last an Olympic sport in the 1924 Olympic Games) by holding a series of informal meetings with the British Olympic Association Secretary, Dick Palmer.
A significant step in the process of acceptance back into the Olympic Movement was achieved at a ceremony held in Cardiff in November 1994, when the IRB was officially confirmed as a Recognised International Federation of the IOC. At that ceremony, International Olympic Committee President, Juan-Antonio Samaranch, pointed out that rugby's history and values were very much in tune with the Olympic philosophy and traditions. This historic meeting in Cardiff led to IRB representation at annual IOC meetings and consideration for inclusion in the programme of future Olympic Games.
Pickering said, "Vernon Pugh was the main instigator in driving IRB policy towards inclusion in the Olympic Games, it was part of his vision to expand rugby's reach as a world game and that vision now looks like it will become a reality in October when the IOC Congress will vote on the Council's recommendations to include Rugby Sevens in the Games.
"Rugby entering the Olympics will be the fruition of Vernon's dream and while it is sad that he didn't live to see the dream becoming reality, I'm sure the news will bring some solace to Vernon's family.
"Keith Rowlands was another Welshman whose work to pave the way for this day must be recognised, and I'm proud I can represent Wales on the IRB today and hopefully carry on some of the work done by these great men.
"A lot of people have worked extremely hard behind the scenes to get to where we are now, and a lot of money has gone into getting us to the position we are in today. I'd also like to acknowledge the work of IRB Chief Executive Mike Miller and chairman Bernard Lapasset for their tremendous efforts leading to yesterday's decision.
"It is fantastic that we enter this exciting new period for rugby as Rugby World Cup Sevens champions, that was a huge achievement for Paul John and his team of coaches and players last season and, providing the Congress accepts the decision of the Council in Copenhagen in October, we will now build on that achievement as we move towards 2016. The Olympics will now be a key date in the rugby calendar that will lift the game to new heights.
"The decision will also prove to be a massive boost to the Women's game, with Olympic medals now on offer for a Team GB.
"Sevens is a wonderfully exciting sport in its own right, and a brilliant development tool for the fifteen a side game. There is no hiding place in Sevens and skill levels are tested to the limit."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
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.