Rob Howley knows that if a player can shine in the Heineken Cup, he will be fit for the demands of international rugby.
Howley, who won the Heineken Cup for Wasps in 2004 with a last-minute try says he will be keeping an eye on the proceedings this weekend.
With the RBS Six Nations kick-off less than a month away, the assistant coach to Warren Gatland in the Welsh national set up has spoken of the need for players to impress for the region if they are to have a look-in to the national squad.
"The Heineken Cup is an integral part of our selection process," said the former Wales scrumhalf, "So it is important players perform well in this competition.
"We have spoken about the intensity that this competition brings, which is similar to international rugby.
"Every player who starts in the Heineken Cup has got a great opportunity to impress the Wales management, particularly after our disappointing display against Australia.
"We are looking at selections and combinations, while we also have players coming back from injuries who have not played a lot of rugby over the Christmas period."
The Welsh regions have some crunch matches coming up, with the Ospreys travelling to take on French high-flyers Clermont Auvergne, the Dragons are off to play Glasgow in Scotland and the Blues and Scarlets entertain Sale and London Irish respectively.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.