Wales captain Colin Charvis has spoken of his enthusiasm to get Newcastle Falcons back to the top of the English game.
The 31-year-old has been training with his new colleagues at Kingston Park, and said: "When I decided to leave Tarbes in France last season, I wanted to challenge myself and play at the very top level in British rugby.
"I came up here a while ago to look at the facilities, and in the week I've been at the club so far, I've been really impressed."
Charvis gets a chance to link up with his former Wales and Lions fitness and conditioning coach, Steve Black, something which was a major attraction in coming to the north-east.
"Blackie's just outstanding, and he has his own unique approach to training which works really well, so I'm glad to be back working with him," he said.
Black repaid the compliment, saying: "Colin is a terrific person with a superb character, and he'll be great for the north-east.
"He's dynamic and is a very intelligent player. He's got great skills, and he's a players' player, so he's good at talking to other people. Anyone who trains with him will tell you straightaway how intelligent he is."
Of his new team-mates, Charvis said: "The thing that has really struck me is the attitude in training, and how committed everyone is. I'm getting stuck into some training now with the rest of the guys, and I can't wait for the season to start.
"Having spoken to Rob Andrew before I signed for the Falcons, I was impressed with their philosophy of how they want to play the game - at pace and with the ball in hand.
"Hopefully I can add a bit of experience to the squad, and bring something to help the exciting young players they've got here already."
Commenting on his new signing, Andrew said: "We know what we're getting with Colin - a top player and a current international captain.
"I'm sure he'll be a tremendous success at Newcastle, and the fans should be excited that we've managed to attract a player of his quality."
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