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The Nineties saw professionalism enter rugby union for the first time when the former WRU Chairman Vernon Pugh pronounced in Paris in 1995 that the game would be 'open'.Neil Jenkins became the first international player to break the 1,000 points barrier and the biggest transformation of the decade was that of the old Cardiff Arms Park into the Millennium Stadium in time to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup.The first Triple Crown came in 1893 and was the launch pad for the first 'Golden Era', when Wales dominated the world game.The Maoris, the first touring team in the UK, had been beaten in 1888 and Dave Gallaher's otherwise all-conquering New Zealand 'All Blacks' were beaten 3-0 in 1905 thanks to a try by Teddy Morgan.In September, 1875 the South Wales Football Union was created in Brecon 'with the intention of playing matches with the principal clubs in the West of England and the neighbourhood - the rugby rules will be the adopted code'.But it was the selection of the first official Welsh team by the remarkable Richard Mullock to face England at Mr Richardson's Field, Blackheath on 19th February 1881, that hastened the formation of what we now know as the Welsh Rugby Union.

Welsh rugby had arrived as a major force in the world game.

The first 'Golden Era' included the first Grand Slam by any country and a record winning run of 11 games as Wales remained unbeaten between March 1907 to January 1910.

When Rob Howley's side of 1999 matched that feat they did it in eight months.

Had the game in Ireland in 1972 not been cancelled, that otherwise undefeated campaign could have ended with another Grand Slam.

There were 11 Welshmen in the victorious 1971 Lions Test side in New Zealand and six Welsh players in the victorious 1974 Lions Test side in South Africa.

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