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.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.