Barry Davies and Jerry Collins make their competitive debuts for the Ospreys after signing for the region this summer in their Magners League opener against Connacht. (Friday19:00)
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley commented:"After the hard work of pre-season, and some good performances and results in our two fixtures against Guinness Premiership opposition, everybody at the Ospreys is looking forward to starting the real business of the Magners League this Friday. We realise that we aren't the finished article at this moment and that we need to keep working and improving week-on-week, but spirits are good in the camp after a good pre-season and we are raring to go.
"Our first opponents Connacht are really tough customers, and will provide a real test for us. They've certainly improved their style of play in the last year or two. Michael Bradley has had them for a long time now and he's moved his squad in a slightly different direction.
"The Sports Ground isn't an easy place to play, but having said that, when you look down our squad sheet for the weekend, we're in good shape. We've got a squad that is pretty healthy compared to last season, with some additions. We've had a great pre-season, I'd go as far as to say the best in the seven years that I've been at the Ospreys now, it's been hard work and it's been enjoyable. There's an air of determination around, so we've got to be confident going there.
"Mike and James are the first Lions players to return to action. Mike only played half a season last year, and James didn't play as much rugby as some of the others in the Six Nations and Lions tour. We've looked at it, and felt that those two, of the Lions, along with Ryan, are ready to get into the fray. How long they will both play is yet to be seen, but we wanted to get them integrated as soon as possible, at the appropriate time, as will be the case with our other Lions."
The on and off-field benefits of schools and colleges employing a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub initiative continue to grow with the publication of the first half term figures of the current academic year.
Despite being in a tough group for the World Series opener in Dubai, Wales 7s head coach Gareth Williams says it is an exciting challenge and his squad are in a positive frame of mind, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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