Northampton Saints Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says tonight's game against the Ospreys is an important stepping stone for the his squad this season. (KO 7.45pm)
The Saints head to the Liberty Stadium for the opening match in the 2009/10 LV= Cup just five days after their Guinness Premiership trip to Leicester. Nevertheless Mallinder has handed a first start of the season to just four players - Mark Hopley, Jon Vickers, Joe Gray and Alan Dickens, who also captains the side.
"Inevitably with such a quick turnaround after a very physical game against Leicester some players have needed a rest," Mallinder said.
"But that in turn presents opportunities for other players to shine. Last season the Anglo-Welsh Cup proved to be a springboard for several players, such as Courtney Lawes and Stephen Myler, who went on to be regulars in the Guinness Premiership and in Europe.
"We are taking a squad to the Liberty Stadium that has worked hard this week and that wants to achieve a positive result and get us off to a good start in the LV= Cup."
Northampton Saints:15 Ben Foden 14 Chris Ashton 13 Joe Ansbro 12 Jon Clarke 11 Chris Mayor 10 Stephen Myler 9 Alan Dickens (capt);1 Regardt Dreyer 2 Joe Gray 3 Jon Vickers 4 James Cannon 5 Christian Day 6 Mark Easter 7 Scott Gray 8 Mark Hopley
Replacements:16 Brett Sharman 17 Alex Waller 18 Adam Parkins* 19 Owen Giles 20 James Ingle 21 John Brake 22 Barry Everitt 23 Grant Pointer
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event
GB7s women left their England base to train in Wales this week. Olympic Games hopeful Rachael Burford gives WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie her thoughts on Welsh teammate Jasmine Joyce - a 'one touch wonder'
The GB7s women's squad is currently training at Wales' Centre of Excellence where assistant coach Richie Pugh tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie some 'tough calls' will have to be made when it comes to finalising the 12 spots for Rio's Olympic Games.