The Principality Premiership kicks off this weekend, with a bright future ahead for the 14 club competition.
Principality Building Society has renewed its title sponsorship of the premier club competition in Wales in a three year deal, while Welsh language broadcaster S4C has announced it will cover up to 10 live Premiership matches this season (2008/09), giving the top club competition in Wales increased profile and value.
These announcements follow changes to the Premiership rules which are set to raise the standard of rugby in the Principality Premiership and create a more competitive environment for the development of future regional and international players.
The new rules include a regulation to allow Premiership sides to utilise an unlimited number of regional and regional academy players not involved in regional games.
The Principality Building Society Premiership kicks off on (Saturday) September 6 with four times champions Neath facing a fierce battle from a host of contenders wishing to take the top spot.
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said, "I am delighted to confirm Principality Building Society's continued support of the Premiership for the next three years. The Premiership has gone from strength to strength since Principality joined us three years ago both on and off the field and the next three years promise to be even more exciting.
"There is a genuine new-look to the top flight of our club game with the reforms of the regulations promising to forge even stronger and more meaningful bonds between the regions and their feeder Premiership clubs, a partnership that is vital to the nurturing and development of the latent talent with which we are blessed.
"The changes mean the coming Principality Premiership season has all the potential to significantly raise the bar and set new highs of quality, intensity, stature and excitement and, in the process, play an increasingly prominent role in the long term health of the national game.
"It is fantastic news for the Premiership that S4C have recognised the value of the Principality Premiership and decided to increase their level of coverage at this level. Television is a vital tool in the promotion of our game and we are grateful to both S4C and our other broadcast partners BBC Wales for their continued support."
Graeme Yorston, Chief Operating Officer at Principality Building Society, said: "The Premiership is a great fit for us. We have had a long association with rugby in Wales and we are delighted to work in partnership with the WRU once again. We believe that Welsh rugby should be celebrated and as such we are pleased to also be the broadcast sponsors of the Principality Premiership on S4C, helping to raise the profile and appetite for our game throughout the country.
"The Premiership is pivotal in the Welsh rugby triangle - developing talented, young players and helping them progress to the regional sides and the Welsh team. It's great that we can support the WRU in ensuring that the Principality Building Society Premiership is a highly competitive and progressive division.
"We look forward to the next three years with excited anticipation. The Premiership is a vital stepping stone in helping players get from the village playing field to the professional game and I am sure we will be in for another top quality Principality Building Society Premiership season starting this weekend."
Geraint Rowlands, S4C's Sports Content Editor said: "There is a great deal of passionate support for the clubs in the Principality Premiership and we are delighted to be able to show some of the top matches involving clubs that have such a rich tradition. The coverage completes our comprehensive line up of Welsh rugby action that includes the Magners League, Heineken Cup, SWALEC Cup and Invesco Perpetual Autumn Series and RBS Six Nations matches."
Byron Mugford, representative of the Premier Division, said:
"The Premiership clubs wish to thank the Principality Building Society for their continued support of the Premier Division. The Premier Division is very competitive and its role in developing the rugby stars of the future has been given an additional boost by this sponsorship announcement.
"The additional match exposure provided by S4C will also help to enhance the profile of the Premiership, enabling Welsh rugby followers to better appreciate the high quality of rugby being played and recognise the Welsh Internationals of the future."
S4C televised matches in 2008 (2009 televised matches tbc)
Saturday October 4th Ebbw Vale v Newport 17.30
Saturday October 11th Neath v Newport 17.30
Saturday October 18th Llanelli v Pontypridd 17.30
Saturday November 1st Pontypool v Pontypridd 17.30
Saturday December 13th Aberavon v Swansea 17.30
It was a double celebration for Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb when he called at the home of Welsh rugby to help commemorate the first anniversary of Principality Stadium and his return to fitness this weekend ahead of the RBS 6 Nations.
Prior to their departure to Wellington for the next leg of the World Series, Wales trained with England and Ireland. WRU TV caught up with Owen Jenkins who revealed the 'buzzword' which is driving the Wales squad on.
Wales head coach Rob Howley explains his decision to change the captaincy of the national side with Ospreys second row Alun Wyn Jones taking over from Sam Warburton for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations. Howley is hoping his decision will allow Warburton to rediscover his 'mojo'.
How do you follow a dancing hippopotamus - the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team has just the 'oneness' to do it say the BBC! For a decade the sight of a herd of hippos synchronised swimming around their own private blue lagoon, has lit up our television screens at regular intervals between favourite BBC One shows. But now the nation's most watched channel has relinquished its famous amphibious mammals in favour of a new show-reel which includes the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team.
Head coach Rowland Phillips and key front rower Carys Phillips look ahead to games against Spain and Ireland as Wales Women ramp up their preparations for the forthcoming Six Nations. The two warm-up games are a 'massive opportunity to refine the squad' according to the Welsh camp.
Martyn Phillips has discussed details of the newly published 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby' which puts in black and white terms the plans and direction of the governing body of the national sport in Wales for the next decade.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips has urged Welsh rugby fans to follow in the footsteps of their soccer counterparts at last summer's Euro Championship by backing their team to the hilt in the upcoming RBS 6 Nations campaign.
Chief executive Martyn Phillips has highlighted the plans for Wales to become a breeding ground for national and elite club rugby coaches, which are contained in the WRU's 10-year 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby'.
Andrew Coombs is enjoying his new role as Nelson forwards coach. The former Dragons and Wales lock has big ambitions to become a professional coach but feels it's important to learn the ropes in grassroots rugby and where better than his home club Nelson, with friends and family close to hand.
Students at Brynllywarch Hall School, near Newtown, have transformed their own lives, and are now having a positive impact on others through rugby. The sport has had a life-changing effect on the well-being of the students who are now delivering rugby sessions to local primary schools and playing for a new mixed ability side
Wales reached their first semi-final since 2013 in the opening round of this season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie recaps on what proved to be an eventful tournament
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.