Wales team manager Alan Phillips today praised the work of WRU Travel Services and Air New Zealand in allowing the Wales squad to re-schedule their flights to New Zealand, at minimum cost.
Each player in the Wales squad paid his own hotel bill for the enforced overnight stay at the Rennaisance Hotel in Heathrow, after protracted negotiations with WRU management and an accident on the M4 motorway lead them to miss their flight yesterday.
The squad trained this morning (Tuesday) and will begin their Tour of New Zealand and Australia with a 4.15pm flight from Heathrow this afternoon.
The contribution from the players and the sterling work of WRU Travel Services means the total bill for the delay comes at a cost of under Â£3,000 to the Union, which includes keeping the team bus overnight for the transfer of baggage and flight transfers etc.
'It was a gesture from the players to pay for their own overnight stay in London and the whole squad is taking full collective responsiblity for the delay,' said Phillips.
'We want to say a special thankyou to all those who have helped us with the re-scheduling and we are now just looking forward to going out there and playing some rugby.
'The players showed resolve when they made their stand before we left Cardiff, the whole squad presented a united front and they now have a pay structure in place not just for the tour but for the next 12 months of rugby.
'So all of that is now behind us and we need to show similar resolve and strength in unity when we face the World Champions in Australia and then face New Zealand, who are a realistic prospect to be the next World Champions themselves.'
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.