Children at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, the Prince of Wales Hospital, Merthyr and the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, received an early Christmas surprise last Friday when they were visited by the Cardiff Blues.
Smiles brightened the room when the players met and spoke with the children, signed cards, had their photos taken, and awarded certificates of bravery to the children at childrens wards in each hospital.
Rhys Williams, captain of the Blues, joined his team mates to meet the children and their families and said, Its brilliant for us as players to do, it really puts things in perspective when you meet such brave children.
To come here, see the kids, and hopefully put a smile on their face is great. Seeing such courage from these children just shows rugby isnt the be all and end all.
Councillor Graham Thomas, Cabinet Member for Cultural Development, Recreation and Tourism said, Im delighted we were able to bring the Blues to visit the children - we all know that our rugby stars are worshipped by local youngsters. It really has given the families a big lift that they can take time out before a big game to visit those less fortunate this Christmas.
Adrian Evans Rhondda Cynon Tafs Rugby Development Officer hopes the visit will promote the progress made in his County Borough through the Councils partnership with Cardiff Blues and the Welsh Rugby Union.
The players were also upbeat and confident about the home game against Calvisano the next day and rightly so.
We had a good training session this morning and its nice now to come here, get away from it and relax now for the rest of the day and look forward to tomorrow, commented Rhys.
For every game the Cardiff Blues play they adopt two clubs from within the region to play a game of tag at half time and for the Calvisano game it was the turn of Rhydfelin under 8s to show off their skills against Brecon under 8s.