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."
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
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.