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."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.