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
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series