Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the notion that Italy could join Wales, Ireland and Scotland in the Magners League in season 2010/2011.
Lewis, responding to an official statement released by chairman of Celtic Rugby John Hussey, confirmed that Italy has been invited to supply two teams to the tournament on the proviso that a number of conditions can be satisfied.
"This is an exciting prospect for fans and players alike, but there are a number of issues to be resolved first," said Mr Lewis. "Who wouldn't look forward to a visit to Rome with say the Cardiff Blues for example or the chance to take in the sights in Venice with a team based in the North of Italy, the perfect place where the real rugby heartland is?
"But conditions will have to be met in terms of players, facilities, finances and from a commercial point of view and in terms of TV coverage. Italy are up for it and we will all give it our best shot, but we must ensure the idea is sustainable in both rugby and financial terms.
"We have asked some questions of Italy and will expect to have answers certainly by early December and the beginning of January, but we are not standing still and we are already talking to TV colleagues in Italy to make this work for everyone."
The statement issued by the Celtic Rugby Board this morning confirms 'it has advised the FIR that they have agreed in principle to invite two Italian teams to join the Magners League in season 2010/2011 subject to a number of conditions being met.'
The statement continues: 'These conditions, which will be clearly defined, fall under main headings of Playing and Facility standards, Finance and Commercial including Television. This will be a comprehensive process and will take some time. The Board therefore decided that participation could not commence before 2010/2011 season.
The Magners League is one of the top professional rugby union tournaments in the world. The quality of the Magners League is demonstrated by the fact that in the deciding Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland no less than 42 out of the 44 players that took part in that historic match play their rugby in the Magners League.
Four of this season's Heineken Cup quarterfinalists are Magners League teams. It is essential that any changes to the structure of this great competition maintain the highest standards.'
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.