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 Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.