Neath have added another quality piece to their jig-saw with the capture of the former Ospreys lock Michael Collins.
The 22-year -old Maesteg product who stands 6'5" and weighs in at 17 stone was released by the region at the end of the season and was courted by several English clubs but has chosen Neath over them.
He is the latest top player to join the Welsh All Blacks and he will join an impressive, balanced second-row pool that includes Player of the Year Euros Evans, the fast-emerging Haydn Pugh and the experienced Neil Edwards.
Director of Rugby Patrick Horgan said, "We needed an additional lock as last year, when Haydn Pugh was injured, Euros and Neil ended up playing virtually every game. They did very well for us and were excellent in the Cup Final win over Llanelli.
"But depth is going to be even more important this year especially with the extra challenge of the British & Irish Cup. Mike's athleticism makes him an ideal player in the Neath mould and, with hard work, the rewards will come his way."
Neath chairman Geraint Hawkes said, "We have tracked Mike Collins since his Maesteg days but he signed for The Ospreys who allocated him to Swansea. His career has stalled a bit since then but he is hungry for success and we believe that he has the ability, the quality and the skills to make a big impression at The Gnoll."
Mike Collins added: "I felt signing for Neath was a great opportunity for my personal development especially with the implementation of the British and Irish Cup.
"I'm looking forward to playing a competitive level of rugby at a historic club with a professional setup and a good squad of players. Neath have been a driving force over the last few years and I look forward to being part of their setup for the 2009/10 season campaign."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.