In Wales we begin the year in great shape.
Our four regional sides have played in front of packed houses over the Christmas period with total commitment on the field in the Magners League producing exciting, full on rugby.
The Principality Premiership has continued to delight us all, introducing the Welsh stars of the future to an eager public, the Asda Leagues once more have shown us that the heart and soul of Welsh rugby is beating fast across Wales.
Over the coming weeks, regions and clubs throughout Wales will resume their local, national and european cup competitions and many, quite rightly, have high expectations.
On Sunday, February 4th, our national team begins its RBS Six Nations campaign playing Ireland in Cardiff. This year's tournament will be watched with great interest across the globe.
When we play England in the final game, on March 17th, we along with the entire rugby world, will have a better understanding of the prospects for the Northern hemisphere nations in the Rugby World Cup this coming autumn.
The journey which our national team is about to embark on this year is most probably the most demanding that any Welsh team has undertaken. It is a journey of a lifetime. Following the five games in the RBS Six Nations and the rigorous demands of the domestic season, Wales head off to Australia for two Internationals at the end of May.
In August we play three Rugby World Cup warm up matches, England away with Argentina and France at home at our Millennium Stadium; the greatest rugby stadium in the world.
Then it's Rugby World Cup 2007 and Wales will play a minimum of fourteen internationals this year, and that's before the knock-out stages of the Rugby World Cup.
I know all of us will be fully behind our National team, led by our National Coach Gareth Jenkins, on every step of the way; the Welsh way.
Let's make this year a year to remember, a year in which we all come together behind a shared purpose which we all care deeply about, the union of Welsh rugby.
Across the game let's ensure that we are welcoming and encouraging to all, keeping the club doors open for everyone. Let's work in harmony to ensure maximum participation and enjoyment of the game at all levels.
We need to grow all aspects of our game, mini-sides and junior sides, youth rugby and women's rugby and we need to recognise, support and respect the work of volunteers, club officials and most importantly of all our referees and officials. This year we can build the foundations for many, many years to come and create a truly sustainable future for our game.
Rugby occupies a very special place in the hearts and minds of our nation. It helps define us as a people. It captures our imagination, fuelling our dreams and aspirations. It has the power to change our perception of the surrounding world for the greater good, it can be a civilizing force. It is the glue which bonds our communities together.
Together let's step out into 2007 in unity, with passion, with pride and with dignity.
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
Group Chief Executive, Welsh Rugby Union