Neath outside-half Arwel Thomas has confirmed that he is to carry on playing and extend his career with the Welsh All Blacks for another season.
The former Wales fly half has been a central figure since returning to the club in 2005 and will be looking to play his part in wrestling the Principality Premiership title from newwly crowned champions Cardiff.
And Thomas says he is up for the challenge ahead."The time to retire is when you don't feel like making the effort at the start of a new season. But I am feeling fit and refreshed - I'm up for another season and I'll take it from there." he said.
"The support of my friends and family has enabled me to commit to another season at the Gnoll and it was important for me personally to have this before I signed on the dotted line."
"There is a real buzz in the air about training with our new coaching set-up under Director of Rugby Patrick Horgan. We have made some great new signings and the squad is looking stronger and fitter than we did at this time last season."
"Besides, there is nothing like playing for Neath in front of the wonderful Gnoll fans. I still have some rugby left in me and hopefully I can help the squad give many a team a run for their money in particular as we compete in the new British & Irish cup."
Thomas' commitment means that Neath can now call on four players with full international experience (Kevin Morgan, Nathan Brew and Nathan Thomas are the others) in a squad that also has its fair share of youthful promise.
The mercurial former Wales outside-half first appeared for Neath in 1993 and his career has included spells with Bristol, Swansea, Pau and the Scarlets.
He returned to Neath in 2005/06 and helped nurture the budding talent of James Hook as the Welsh All Blacks won their second successive Welsh Premiership title.
It was his last-gasp, left-footed dropped goal that clinched a third title for Neath in 2006/07 and he was very much to the fore when Neath created history with the first-ever League and Cup double of the semi-professional era in 2007/08.
Thomas announced his retirement after winning the 2008 Cup Final which Neath dedicated to their scrum-half Gareth Jones who broke his neck in a game at Cardiff and tragically died after.
But you can't keep a good man down and Thomas was there again last season, revealing flashes of his trademark dash and flair, as Neath made it back-to-back Cup wins.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.