Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the dawn of a 'new era' for rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales alongside the announcement of the new GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures.
The PRO12 has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has a vibrant future ahead of it and this new association with Guinness really feels like it signifies the dawn of a new and dynamic era for the competition.
Guinness was confirmed this morning as the new title sponsor for the competition which kicks off for 2014/2015 in the first weekend of September with the Scarlets hosting Ulster at Parc y Scarlets, the Ospreys facing Benetton Treviso at the Liberty Stadium and both the Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons on the road - to Zebre and Connacht Rugby respectively.
"The news that Guinness are on board as the new title sponsors of the GUINNESS PRO12 will be universally welcomed by everyone involved with the competition," said Mr Lewis.
"To have attracted the sponsorship of such a major blue chip brand reflects the innate value of the competition and is also testament to the hard work and dedication of the PRO12 executive. The commercial team at the PRO12 must be applauded for having secured such a heavy-weight of the international business world as a commercial partner.
"The PRO12 has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has a vibrant future ahead of it and this new association with Guinness really feels like it signifies the dawn of a new and dynamic era for the competition."
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.