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.
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.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.