For the first time in many years, this summer will see a period of consolidation within the Pontypridd RFC squad, rather than the usual catalogue of departures from the club.
The majority of the player base from the previous season have committed to stay on at Pontypridd, and with a couple of high profile new signings and an influx of exciting new talent thrown into the mix, all making for a strengthening of the squad to face the trials and tribulations of the forthcoming winter's campaign.
New signings already confirmed are full back Gary Williams, centres Lee Thorne and Dafydd Lockyer, winger Matthew Nuthall, and outside halves Aaron Bramwell and Dean Gunter.
Players released or departing from the Pontypridd squad are full back Lawrence Price, centre Mike Davies, outside half Gareth McCarthy, scrum half Andrew Jenkins and hooker Leighton Davies.
Blues Academy players, scrum half Rhys Downes, props Sam Hobbs and Pat Palmer and hooker Rhys Williams, will also be representing Pontypridd next season.
The core of the Ponty squad from the 2008 - 2009 season will still be at Sardis Road come September, with the following players having confirmed their allegiance to the club: Backs: Matthew Hutchings; Owen Williams; Lewis Williams; Chris Clayton; Gavin Dacey; Adam Thomas; Kristian Baller; Gavin Morris. Forwards: Stuart Williams; Owen Cotton; Ryan Harford; Huw Dowden; Chris Martenko; Grant Harrington; Ryan Savage; Chris Dicomidis; Kristian Dacey; Rhys Lloyd; Wayne O'Connor; Geraint Lewis; Nathan Strong.
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
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.