There will be action in the Premier Division and in all 18 Lloyds TSB
divisions this weekend as Welsh rugby begins what for most clubs will be a
The Premier Division will have seven matches on Saturday, but the Bedwas
-Llanelli match will not be played until Sunday (2.30pm).
Two games stand out as Neath entertain Swansea at the Gnoll in the West,
while in the East there will be a clash between Pontypridd and Cardiff at
the Arms Park. There will also be a first appearance in this division for
last season's Division One winners Llanharan, who meet Newbridge at the
Pontypridd appear to have a large squad, but picked up several nasty
injuries last week in a friendly match, including a cut eye to their new
skipper, centre Paul Matthews. Cardiff will rely heavily on the boot of fly
half Chris Anderson, a former Youth player at the Arms Park, who has been
released by Neath.
Neath appear to be favourites for the title, skippered by full back Gareth
Morris and coached by Rowland Phillips, but Swansea will certainly be
looking to repeat last season's result and flanker Gareth Jones will be
their new captain.
Holders Newport are glad to have Daniel Griffiths continuing at fly half,
but have lost several players and they face a Gwent derby at home to
Pontypool. Cross Keys sit out the first round of fixtures, but Ebbw Vale
face a hard task away to Carmarthen Quins and Llandovery will also find it
tough at Aberavon, who have accepted the resignation of their director of
rugby, Chris O'Callaghan.
Bridgend are coached for the first time by former international lock Chris
Stephens and they are at the Brewery Field against Caerphilly, who have
Mark Ring back in charge.
Wales reached their first semi-final since 2013 in the opening round of this season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie recaps on what proved to be an eventful tournament
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series