A major boost for the four Regions of Wales is to be delivered through a renewed television rights contract to broadcast Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup games live until 2014.
The Welsh Rugby Union today announced that it would distribute all the extra monies generated from the European Rugby Cup deal directly to the Regions playing in the competitions.
Welsh rugby will benefit from the new deal between the ERC and Sky Sports in this extension of the current broadcast partnership with new terms and conditions.
The Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, who is also a main Board Director of the ERC, said: "This is great news for the Welsh Regions.
"The opportunity contained within this new deal is considerable. The Welsh Rugby Union will ensure that all additional monies generated for Wales by the competition will be passed in full to the competing Welsh teams.
"This new deal certainly helps enormously as the current EDF Cup competition ends this season.
"The good news follows on from the strong financial announcements from The Scarlets this week and ahead of packed houses for a great Christmas schedule of regional rugby in Wales.
"The WRU focus is also on how we continue to invest in the grass roots game as well as the Principality Premiership and we hope to make further announcements in the New Year."
The new ERC broadcast deal with BSkyB extends the current contract from the 2010/11 season through to the end of the 2013/14 season.
The four year extension will bring the partnership with ERC to ten years and Sky Sports will continue to broadcast up to eight live Heineken Cup pool matches each European weekend plus games from every round of the European Challenge Cup.
Last season Sky Sports broadcast 37 live Heineken Cup games and 12 European Challenge Cup matches offering fans a wealth of European action to choose from each weekend.
Highlights of cup matches will be screened on terrestrial television channels on the Sunday nights of Heineken Cup weekends.
For further information, contact WRU Head of Communications
John Williams tel 07824 357083 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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'.