Robin McBryde ensured the Heineken Cup was delivered into safe hands when it arrived on Welsh soil as he accepted it on behalf of the host nation of the 11th final in May next year at Holyhead Harbour.
Captain Peter Quinn handed over the most coveted club rugby prize in the world having transported it across the Irish Sea via Irish Ferries'
flagship vessel, SS Ulysses, from the headquarters of tournament organisers ERC in Dublin.
Born in Bangor, 30 miles away from Holyhead, McBryde was the perfect choice to receive the Heineken Cup. With 55 games in the competition, inlcuding two semi-finals appearances, the former Llanelli Scarlets, Wales and Lions hooker knows has nine years of experience of chasing European club rugby's 'Holy Grail'.
The 35-year-old front row stalwart may have been forced to hang up his boots because of a nagging neck injury during the summer, but the Heineken Cup juices began to flow as soon as he got a glimpse of the trophy.
"There is always a great air of excitement when the Heineken Cup comes around. It is the ultimate proving ground for all players," said McBryde.
"I've had some great times playing in the competition and I'm really going to miss not being part of the action. But I'll be closely following the fortunes of the Welsh sides and wouldn't it be great if one of them could go all the way to the final.
"It's going to be a tough start for the Scarlets having to go to the home of the holders Toulouse, but then every game in this tournament is difficult. Stade Francais paris will be travelling to Swansea to face the Ospreys having just beaten Toulouse in front of 80,000 fans at the weekend.
"The Welsh regions haven't made a great start to their seasons, but now is the time to step up to the mark. We need one upset this weekend to kick-start the campaign."
The final will be held in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, 20 May - the fourth time in 11 years it will have been hosted by the Welsh capital.
After officially welcoming the Heineken Cup into Wales, McBryde gave it a real feel of Wales when he took it a few miles down the road on Anglesey to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
There to greet him and the trophy were some children from the local primary school.
"It was nice to be able to take the trophy to a rather special Welsh village," said the Welsh speaking McBryde. "The children were thrilled to see it and they promised to shout for the Scarlets this season."
McBryde took the trophy on to his home town rugby club later in the day at Bangor. Now one of the Welsh Rugby Union's National Skills Coaches, he took a training session for the Bangor Under 16s and North Wales Under 17s.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.