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.
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
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets