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."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.