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."
Whenever Bedlinog tackle Penallta a massive fixure is guaranteed but this Sunday there will be even more emphasis placed on the two rivals when they contest the SSE Swalec Plate final at Principality Stadium.
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins and Ospreys centre Ben John look ahead to the first game at Principality Stadium in Saturday's double header which is promising to be a special occasion for all Welsh fans.
Carmarthen Quins Director of Rugby Ian Jones and committee member Jeff Thomas along with Llandovery chairman Handel Davies look ahead to Sunday's SSE SWALEC Cup showdown where both teams are out to prove 'West is best'
SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
Scarlets long serving prop Phil John talks to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie about Judgement Day IV and SSE Swalec Cup finals day. The last time Llandovery were in the cup final in 2007, the Drovers claimed the spoils with Phil playing a major role in the engine room.
Meet Aberdare coach Luke Thomas whose #FABXV nomination goes to super volunteer Daz with a whopping 10 things he does for the club each week, all except the ironing! You can also join in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers, by sending your nomination via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV