A new national league structure for Welsh rugby has been confirmed for next season after a ballot of clubs saw a significant majority vote to adopt the new format.
The Board of the Welsh Rugby Union formally approved the new plan for the SWALEC Leagues after reviewing the feedback they had called for after the issue was debated by clubs at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
At the EGM earlier this month a cross section of views had been expressed about the new structure which had originally been approved with the details sent out to clubs in August 2013.
In the ballot 70% of clubs or affiliated organisations responded with votes for or against and 61% of those voted to approve the new league structure.
The progress of the new league format will be monitored throughout season 2014/15 by a WRU working group and reviewed in May 2015.
An Appeals Panel, with an independent and legally qualified chair, is being established and is considering appeals from individual clubs related to their league placings in the new structure.
The new leagues were established after a working party was set up to review the league format following initial feedback from the WRU Club Census of 2012.
The principal issues raised then by clubs were the distances travelled to fulfil fixtures and the related costs.
Contrary views related to the new structure were expressed after the original decision to adopt the new format was communicated to clubs in 2013.
At the recent EGM it was agreed that a ballot should take place and its findings put before the WRU Board before any decision to confirm the adoption of the new league was taken.
The deadline for clubs to contact the Appeals Panel is Friday 4th July 2014.
We caught up with Shona and Ellie from the Wales women team ahead of the start of the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris next month at a recent women's training session to encourage and promote more women and girls to try their hand at rugby. #tryourgame
We hear from the Wales camps in South Africa and New Zealand, as well as the EGM, in this week's principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Defence coach Shaun Edwards and forwards coach Robin McBryde look ahead to the Springboks, Angus O'Brien and Mark Taylor look back at heartbreak for Wales Under 20s, while group chief executive Roger Lewis and chairman David Pickering face the Welsh press after being vindicated at the EGM.
Cross Keys flanker Scott Matthews capped off a fine season when he won the last Principality Premiership Player of the Month award before a surprise visit by Alun-Wyn Jones saw him crowned Best Newcomer of the Year.
Pontypridd's dominance in this year's Principality Premiership was reflected in last night's Awards evening held at the Millennium Stadium where Paul John, Geraint Walsh claimed individual awards while Ponty picked up the Fair Play award as well.
WRU TV's Liz Jones has to contend with an enthusiastic PA as she interviews victorious Pontypridd coach Paul John after he guided his side to victory in the Principality Premiership final at Sardis Road.
Cross Keys head to Sardis Road on Sunday showing no fear as they face Pontypridd in the Principality Premiership Play-off Final. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie gets the low-down from both camps before the big game.
Defending Principality Premiership champions Pontypridd are chasing an unprecedented double double this Sunday at Sardis Road when they host Cross Keys who are gunning for revenge after being brushed aside in the SWALEC Cup final.
500 days to go to Rugby World Cup and SWALEC Finals Day on the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. WRU chairman David Pickering and First Minister Carwyn Jones look ahead to the Rugby World Cup, while we hear from all three winners on SWALEC Finals Day, Pontypridd's Dafydd Lockyer, Merthyr's Lee Jarvis and Clwb Rygbi Caerdydd's Gareth Williams, as well as former Wales wing Simon Hill on coaching his village team Llantwit Major.
Carmarthen Quins or Cross Keys are just 80 minutes away from taking on Pontypridd in the Principality Premiership final - but first they have to win Sunday's semi-final play-off at Carmarthen Park (KO 5.30pm).
Hear from all six clubs at SWALEC Finals Day on the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Pontypridd's Dafydd Lockyer, while former coach Dale McIntosh reflects on their British and Irish Cup campaign. Cross Keys backs coach Morgan Stoddart and Wales U20 outside half Angus O'Brien on their challenge. Merthyr's Lee Jarvis and Rhiwbina's Gareth Lintern look at their Plate Final. Clwb Rygby Caerdydd's Owain Tudur and Llantwit Major's Shaun Shea on the Bowl Final. Former Llantwit Youth player Dafydd Hewitt of the Blues also looks forward to the game.
It's crunch time at both ends of the Principality Premiership where Cross Keys and Carmarthen Quins are chasing a home tie in the play-offs while Aberavon and Swansea are attempting to avoid the drop. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie and Will Thomas preview the action.
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.