Welsh fans will be able to view a feast of rugby on their screens During the 34 week season of 2002/2003 - that's the good news from BBC Wales and S4C.
For die hard fans up to 46hrs of matches per team in Europe and Wales
is on the agenda.
The Welsh Rugby Union and its broadcast partners have released the initial five week fixture list for a season which will see Welsh clubs compete for Six major trophies, including three European tournaments, the Welsh domestic League and Cup competitions and the newly established Celtic League.
Irish and Scottish clubs will travel to Wales in August's Celtic League opener to kick-start a rugby year which promises all the highs and lows, peaks and woes and excitement of season's gone by.
" It is with great delight and excitement that we announce the fixtures that will kick-off the coming season," said Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Dennis Gethin.
" With the Celtic League now firmly established as part of our domestic rugby calendar, clubs will have to hit the ground running when the season starts at the end of August.
" Christmas will be as competitive a period as ever and it is inevitable that the standard of rugby will reach a new plateau in Wales with four major
trophies up for grabs.
" The Principality Cup with all its tradition is at the heart of the Welsh season and the domestic Welsh league will be as hard fought as ever, but the
Celtic league and European competitions add real spice to the fixture list.
" The standard of competition is maintained throughout the season and clubs must be at the top of their games from start to finish in the intensely competitive environment we have created to showcase the stars of the Welsh
" And with Rugby World Cup 2003, in Australia, just around the corner it is even more important that we give our players the platform to hone their skills and reach the highest levels of performance.
" Rugby at its best can be the greatest show in the land and we have all the
ingredients in place to produce a spectacular season, all we need is our star players to provide the catalyst and we can sit back ready to be entertained."
Nigel Walker, Head of Sport for BBC Wales, added, "We are looking forward to
our continuing relationship with S4C and Welsh Rugby Union which brings top
club rugby into the homes of Welsh viewers.
" We will reach fans not only in Wales but also beyond its boundaries for those with digital satellite technology - on a weekly basis."
BBC Wales will be broadcasting more than 50 hours of domestic rugby from the
Celtic League, Heineken Cup, Welsh League and Principality Cup on BBC Two Wales on the analogue service and BBC 2W on digital from August 30.
S4C will broadcast live rugby on Y Clwb Rygbi on Saturday evenings and highlights on Y Clwb on Sunday afternoons.
Commissioning Editor for Sport and Events, Gareth Davies says " Last season, rugby on S4C proved extremely popular, with over a million fans tuning in. S4C is delighted to be building on this success, bringing the best of Welsh rugby to its viewers in Wales and throughout the UK via S4C Digital on satellite".
Chairman of the Premier Clubs Derrick King concluded, " This array of matches makes the seasons activity a mouth-watering prospect. The Premiership clubs are determined to ensure that the Irish do not enjoy the ascendancy they experienced with the introduction of the Celtic league last season. It should all make for compulsive viewing".
Friday Aug 30th. Newport v Bridgend. (705pm BBC2 Wales)
Saturday 31st August. Llanelli v Munster (705pm S4C)
Friday Sept 6th Swansea v Neath (705pm BBC2 Wales)
Saturday 7th Sept. Pontypridd v Newport (8PM S4C)
Friday 13 Sept Bridgend v Pontypridd (705 BBC2 Wales)
Saturday 14th Sept Naeth v Llanelli (530pm S4C)
Friday 20th Sept Pontypridd v Borders (705 BBC2 Wales)
Saturday 21st Cardiff v Leinster (530pm S4C)
Friday 27th Neath v Ebbw Vale (705pm BBC2 Wales)
Saturday 28th Sept Newport v Cardiff (530pm S4C)
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