Wales coach Robin McBryde during his session at the Principality Premiership Coaching Conference
The largest and most comprehensive Principality Premiership coaching conference to date took place on Saturday with members of Wales' national management team passing on their knowledge and best practices to coaches from across the Premiership.
The new Centre of Excellence in Ystrad Mynach hosted the conference, which included a mix of theory and practical sessions along with an open discussion forum.
Wales coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde formed part of the line-up of speakers along with National Medical Manager Prabhat Mathema and Head of Performance Analysis Rhys Long.
Members of each Principality Premiership coaching and management teams were in attendance and WRU National Academy Coaching Manager Allan Lewis was delighted with the success of the day.
"The day was a huge opportunity for Premiership coaches to gain an insight from those who have been part of Grand Slam and Lions Series winning coaching teams in recent years," said Lewis.
"The Principality Premiership plays a vital role in the development of players. The gap between Under 18, Premiership and professional rugby is forever decreasing and we are constantly looking to further bridge that gap by increasing standards in the Premiership.
"Almost all of our international players cut their teeth in the Principality Premiership, so it is vital we support the clubs as much as possible in their quest to improve themselves.
"It is fantastic that our National Team Management, who have been so successful in recent years, were able to share some examples of best practice in their various fields."
The morning's schedule included a session from Wales assistant coach Rob Howley on attack along with a key presentation on concussion from Prabhat Mathema. National Match Officials Manager Nigel Whitehouse began the afternoon session by detailing the refereeing structure for the Premiership, outlining the communication and collaboration between Premiership referees and coaches and discussing any issues facing the coaches including any introduction of law variations.
Robin McBryde conducted a contact area session before Rhys Long addressed the conference on analysis and McBryde said he believed the day was very beneficial.
"Days like today are a great chance for all the coaches to come together and share best practices," he said.
"It's an open forum where we discuss our methods and then have the opportunity to showcase it in a practical environment.
"Learning and understanding new ideas is key in coaching so hopefully there was a lot for everyone to take away."
Newly appointed Neath RFC Director of Rugby Rowland Phillips was one of the coaches in attendance and he was full of praise for the conference. Days like today are extremely beneficial," he said.
"Obviously the Premiership is very competitive but ultimately we are trying together to increase the level of the league and days like this really help the process.
"It gives us a chance to appreciate other ideas and help spread those throughout the league.
"Looking at the bigger picture, the Premiership has a role in developing players for regional rugby and then for the international game so it is good that we are all working together.
"Having the opportunity to listen to and work with the national squad coaches gives us all a really good understanding of what they are trying to do."
Despite drawing with Ireland in the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes the championship 'is still in our hands' as he prepares his side to face Scotland at Principality Stadium tomorrow.
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose