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."
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.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series