The Principality Premiership serves its purposes not only as a thriving nursery for young Welsh talent but also as a stage for the traditional big names of Welsh rugby to do battle.
That combination of looking to the future but with solid foundations in the past is a potent one. Such will be the case this coming Saturday as two of the great clubs of Wales go head to head, Pontypridd taking on Pontypool at Sardis Road (KO 2:30pm).
Ponty have got off to a fine start to the new season, winning five on the run and currently occupying pole position in the table. Pooler are holding their own mid table with two home wins and one narrow away defeat to their credit. The two clubs' preparations for this showdown could hardly be any more different. This will be Pontypridd's third fixture within eight days whilst Pontypool have enjoyed a two week lay off from action.
Keeping their squad fresh for another tough battle in the offing, the Ponty coaches continue with a policy of squad rotation, and again make ten changes from the starting line up that achieved a twelve try home rout against the Wanderers last time out.
With Owen Williams injured, Matthew Nuthall returns on the wing and Adam Thomas slotting in at full back. An input of five Blues players sees Sam Hobbs in at prop, Cory Hill at lock and Calum Thomas at flanker, whilst hooker Rhys Williams and outside half Lewis K Williams have their first involvement on the bench.
Pontypridd 15.Adam Thomas. 14.Gareth Wyatt. 13.Dafydd Lockyer. 12.Gary Williams. 11.Mathew Nuthall. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Garyn Lucas; 1.Sam Hobbs. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Cory Hill. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Ed Siggery. 7.Calum Thomas. 8.Chris Dicomidis - cpt.
Subs: Rhys Williams; Stuart Williams; Wayne O'Connor; Darren Waters; Kristian Baller; Lewis K Williams; David Gratton.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
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.