Newport Gwent Dragons have strengthened their squad ahead of the forthcoming 2009-10 season with the capture of Welsh International centre Matthew J. Watkins from Gloucester on a two-year deal.
The Welsh centre will be a great boost to the Dragons' back line, being equally able in the centre or on the wing.
Newport-born Watkins, who has been capped by Wales 19 times, began his professional career with Newport, joining the Scarlets in 2002, scoring 33 tries for the region before his move to Gloucester at the end of the 2007-08 season.
"I'm really pleased to be coming back to Rodney Parade," said Watkins "I'm a local lad and after seven years of playing away from here, I'm looking forward to coming home.
"Looking at the squad, there are a lot of quality young players coming through with a great deal of potential and I think there is a style of rugby in the backs I'll fit in with. It's going to be an exciting season for me.
"I have learned a lot, particularly at Gloucester and I hope I'll be able to bring some of the lessons I have learned and leadership qualities I have developed to the Dragons."
We are delighted to have Matthew on board" said Dragons Rugby Manager Robert Beale. "He is a talented, versatile player who will bring a great deal to our side. Matthew's experience and leadership will also be a great asset to our team.
The Welshman replaces Australian centre Rory Sidey who was released by the region last week to return to Australia.
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series