1. The PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP 2002/03 is a knock-out tournament - with 32 teams from eight nations.
2. Round 1 consists of the 16 seeded teams - six from England, six from France, two from Wales and one each from Scotland and Ireland - being drawn against the 16 unseeded teams.
3. They will play each other home and away on the weekends of 11/12/13 October (Leg One, unseeded teams at home) and 18/19/20 October (Leg Two, seeded teams at home). No two teams from any one country have been drawn together.
4. The 16 aggregate winners will go forward to Round 2 of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP and play home and away.
5. The 16 unsuccessful teams will combine in a separate competition run on identical lines, the PARKER PEN SHIELD.
All these matches will be played on the weekends of 6/7/8 and 13/14/15 December, with a draw taking place to determine the order of home advantage.
6. The last eight and then the last four in each competition will continue on the home and away format in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, with a draw taking place to determine the order of home advantage
7. The two finals will be staged on the last weekend in May as straight winner-takes-all contests at neutral venues. The winner of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP will automatically qualify for the Heineken Cup 2003/04 tournament.
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.