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.
The on and off-field benefits of schools and colleges employing a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub initiative continue to grow with the publication of the first half term figures of the current academic year.
Despite being in a tough group for the World Series opener in Dubai, Wales 7s head coach Gareth Williams says it is an exciting challenge and his squad are in a positive frame of mind, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia