The 2009/10 Magners League season kicks off on Friday night with one of the highlights being Cardiff Blues' first competition fixture at their new stadium when they play last season's runners-up, Edinburgh.
The Blues have moved a mile-and-a-half across the Welsh capital to join forces with Cardiff City FC at the new, 26,000 all-seater Cardiff City Stadium.
Elsewhere on Friday night Ospreys travel to the Sportsground in Galway to face Connacht looking for a repeat of the victory they claimed in the same fixture last season, whilst Magners League Champions, Munster, head north to begin the defence of their title against Glasgow Warriors at Firhill Arena. Munster will be hoping it will be third time lucky as the then reigning champions have lost their opening game in the last two seasons.
On Saturday Heineken Cup winners Leinster are the visitors at Parc y Scarlets, the European champions have won on their last two visits to Llanelli, before the round wraps up on Sunday with the fixture between Newport Gwent Dragons and Ulster with the visitors looking for their first victory at Rodney Parade in three years.
This season's tournament will welcome 'home' British & Irish Lions Chris Cusiter (Glasgow) and Nathan Hines (Leinster) from sojourns in France, as well as another 2005 Lion, Gareth Cooper (Blues). They will boost to 37 the number of Lions players from 2001, 2005 and 2009 playing in the Magners League.
There will also be a sprinkling of top overseas talent to blend with the home grown stars. New Zealand legend Jerry Collins has joined the Ospreys while current Springbok centre Jean de Villiers is on his way to Munster at the end of the Tri Nations series. Australian international outside half Sam Norton-Knight has joined the Blues, as has former All Black centre Casey Laulala, while French international prop Julien Brugnaut has headed to Munster. Canadian World Cup star DTH van der Merwe has singed for Glasgow and former Brumbies and Western Force flanker Tamaiti Horua is Ulster bound.
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.
WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey met with volunteers across the game earlier this week, championing their role in the sport. He was joined by Wales captain Sam Warburton for part of the day as volunteers took part in a 'Try Out' event for the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Wales Women may not have got the results they wanted recently on the field, but off it they have made massive strides in strength and conditioning - and that is in no small part due to S&C coach Sam Dodge.
Two weeks into the new pitch project at Millennium Stadium, Groundman Craig Campbell takes staff on a unique behind-the-scene tour of the works so far and National Squad Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach John Ashby and Tour Guide Peter Owen describe what the revamp means for them.
Try-scorer Jenny Davies and fellow prop Megan York reveal to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie their thoughts after Wales broke their drought in the Women's Rugby World Cup with a 35-3 win over South Africa in Paris.