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 / email@example.com
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.