Ospreys second row Ian Gough was today presented with a special ERC cap to commemorate 50 Heineken Cup appearances during his career.
He reached the landmark when he came off the bench to replace Alun-wyn Jones in the 15-9 win over Perpignan at the Liberty Stadium in October.
Gough made his Heineken Cup debut in September 1998, playing for Pontypridd against Glasgow at Firhill. He made a total of 11 Heineken Cup appearances for Pontypridd, before moving to Newport RFC, where he added a further 14 games. Following the move to regional rugby in 2003, he played 16 times for the Dragons in the tournament, and has enjoyed a further 10 outings in an Ospreys shirt prior to this Saturday's trip to Treviso.
Speaking after the presentation, Gough said: "It's been a long time coming but I'm delighted to have hit such a landmark and I'm honoured to receive the cap. It seems a long time since I made my debut in the competition, but I've got some great memories of this tournament. There are many games that stand out over the years but if we can get a result out in Treviso then the games against Perpignan and Leicester Tigers in January could prove to be as memorable as any."
Ospreys coach Sean Holley presented the cap to Gough, and he added: "Ian has been a stalwart of Welsh rugby over the last ten years and this cap is tribute to his longevity and his durability. He is a tremendous asset to the Ospreys and we looking forward to him adding to his total Heineken Cup appearances for some time yet."
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.