On the eve of the Principality Premiership season kick-off, Swansea captain Sam Kiley believes this could be one of the club's most important seasons. The Whites finished bottom of last year's Principality Premiership table, but a similar performance could see the famous club drop down a division.
"I think avoiding relegation would be a success. Everyone is talking about it and we do need to take it into consideration that we might go down," he said.
"The mood is quite high. There are some new faces, pre-season has gone quite well apart from the Aberavon game but we're not looking too much into that. We're just concentrating on our own thing and we're quite confident going into the new season.
"We're not going to completely forget about last season - we want to learn from our mistakes and use that as motivation for this season. We're quite happy with a few signings we've made. We've got Justin James at scrum half, who I've played with in the past. He's a great guy and a great player and he's a great signing for the club. We've got a few youngsters too, the likes of Rhodri Hughes, Nicky Thomas and Nicky Smith who all had a successful spell with the Wales Under 20 side during the off season. We're hoping that having such a successful campaign with them means they can benefit us.
"Cross Keys first up is a very difficult game. We've been watching them very closely in pre-season and they've had some very good results. It's a big challenge for us but it's a home game and we need to hit the ground running this season."
Dale McIntosh, head coach of champion club Pontypridd, says it's going to take the efforts of his full squad to replicate the success of last season when the club completed an historic double.
"We're at the top of the ladder and there'll be people looking to chop us down. We understand that from the magnitude of our succes," he said.
"If we're honest with ourselves then we should be there or thereabouts at the end of the season but we're definitely going to rotate the squad. We've got three games coming up and three totally different starting XVs. That's the way it is. I trust the players and the players reciprocate by putting a shift in week in and week out. There's no one in this squad we don't trust, they all put the shirt on and play well.
"We'll have a strong side out on Saturday given Bedwas' success from last year. Chris Dicomidis has a lot to live up to after being named Principality Premiership Player of the Year and we've got Wayne O'Connor who came off the bench last week to help us win the British & Irish Cup play-off against Cardiff. Dai Flanagan will get his first start of the season as well as Alex Webber on the wing who seems to be exciting the crowd.
"James Howe is someone to look out for - he's a Merthyr boy who was with us two years ago and he's come back to us a different animal. Not only can he scrummage but he's also very quick and dynamic for a loose head prop."
WRU Head of Compliance Julie Paterson said: "The clubs have once again raised standards both on and off the field. There was a greater emphasis on the rugby performance and development programmes last season with the players and teams improving their on-field performances against the rugby goals set by the WRU to raise the level of performance of the league.
"Off the field, the WRU has launched a new Rugby Enterprise Academy, placing graduates with each of the Principality Premiership clubs in order to provide much needed off field support in marketing and other areas.
"We are very grateful once again for the hard work and co-operation of all the clubs, both from inside and outside the Principality Premiership, in the completion of the audit process.
"Our broadcast partner, S4C, is televising a live Principality Premiership match on the first four Sundays of the league season which provides a huge boost to the profile of the Premiership and we are confident this season is set to be one of the most competitive and attractive to date."
Graeme Yorston, Chief Executive of the Principality Group, said: "We are proud to be entering our ninth Premiership season and this year there seems to be more excitement and passion for the competition than ever before. As with any sponsorship deal, Principality looks to support initiatives that share our pride and passion in Wales, that touch the hearts of our communities and that develop young talent.
"In the past few years, the Principality Premiership has done just this, increasing competition, enhancing performance and providing development opportunities for people in Wales. It has also proved to be an excellent breeding ground for future players in the regions, the national team and latterly the British & Irish Lions. We look forward to another exciting Premiership season."
Principality Premiership opening round of fixtures (all 2.30pm)
Saturday 14 Sep:
Aberavon v Newport
Bridgend v Carmarthen
Neath v Llanelli
Pontypridd v Bedwas
Swansea v Cross Keys
Sunday 15 Sep:
Llandovery v Cardiff