Llandovery head coach Rob Appleyard has announced the signings of eight players with proven ability in an attempt to improve the Drovers prospects in the Principality Premiership this season.
Together with the retention of the majority of last season's squad, and the announcement that Prince Charles has agreed to become Patron of the West Wales club, there is a wave of optimism for the forthcoming season within Church Bank.
Half backs, Gareth 'Bulldog' James and former Drover Howard Thomas, have been signed from Neath - Thomas rejoins Llandovery following his heroic performance in the 2007 cup final win over Cardiff. Thomas and fellow Drover, hooker Emyr Phillips, are training in the pre-season with the Scarlets region at Parc-Y-Scarlets.
Former Neath, Swansea and Bridgend outside half Cerith Rees has joined, after a professional rugby career that has seen the former Wales Under 21 player return to Wales, after spells in France playing for Grenoble and Albi and two years with National League Division one club Doncaster RFC.
Wingers Matthew Jacobs and Mike Davies have been signed from fellow regional side Llanelli. Jacobs played for the Scarlets last season and appeared on loan twice at Church Bank in the end of season victories against Glamorgan Wanderers and Cross Keys. Jacobs scored a match winning try against the Wanderers that proved invaluable in the Drovers relegation battle.
Also returning to Church Bank is former Neath and Carmarthen Quins utiliy back Neil Clapham.
The forwards have also been strengthened with the signings of lock Louis Tonkin and No 8 James Watkins. Tonkin is a recruit from Irish First Division side Buccaneers, after previous experience with Galwegians, Coventry and Swansea. Watkins has joined from Spanish rugby club Ordizia Rugby Elkartea. Watkins spent a year there as a professional rugby player and was formally with London Welsh RFC.
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
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.