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.
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