Paul Moriarty couldn't have asked for a better way to start his new career as director of coaching at Cardiff RFC than a home game on the first weekend of the new style Principality Premiership.
For the reigning champions, home advantage at Cardiff Arms Park was key to their success last season, with only two defeats in 13 matches.
But as well as kicking-off at home, Moriarty will also be pitting his coaching skills and wits against a team and opposite number he knows very well. For the majority of his career he wore the all white kit of Swansea and often had Richard Moriarty packing down alongside him in the back row.
This weekend, though, he will be hoping to turn-over his former club, who are coached by his former rugby union and league team mate Richard Webster. It couldn't be a better start for Cardiff's new coach, or the Principality Premiership
"It has been an interesting couple of weeks for myself with the opportunity to front up the coaching here at Cardiff. From a personal point of view, it will be great to be the man in charge at last after a few years of being the forwards coach at the Scarlets," said Moriarty.
"I obviously have a huge connection with Swansea rugby club and a long standing friendship with Richard, so it will be interesting to see how the first game goes
"Cardiff is a great club with everything in place that you could wish for. There are two great coaches here in Lee Jarvis and Howard Stone and the training facilities are excellent at Treforest.
"Then, of course, you have the Arms Park, a world renowned rugby venue, at which to play. I know what outsiders feel about coming to play here and what it means to them to win.
"We have to make sure that, as the capital city and the reigning champions, we make it as difficult as possible for every team that comes to the Arms Park and that we continue with last season's high standards. I hope we've got enough quality here to win back-to-back titles, although that is difficult to do in any competition.
"When you look at the squads in the Premiership and the way that people have recruited, you'd have to say it's going to be a tougher campaign. There are international players at many teams and week-in-week out we will be coming up against many quality players."
Among the newcomers to the Premiership will be ex-Welsh internationals Jamie Ringer, who has left the Dragons to return to the Arms Park and Cardiff, Nathan Thomas and Kevin Morgan, who have joined Neath, and Gareth Wyatt, who will be playing for Newport.
Newcomers Carmarthen Quins have recruited Tongan international scrum half Sililo Martens and there are a host of Wales Under 19, 20 and Sevens internationals across all 14 clubs.
The Principality clubs will have a new season format to play in this term with the Swalec Cup split into three specific tournaments, with the Division 1 East and West clubs joining the Premiership sides for the top competition and the top six from last year's league playing in the British & Irish Cup competition, and the pressure will be greater than ever before.
With a new play-off system being introduced for the first time as well, it means there is everything to play for in 2009/10.
"The play-off system is a great idea and the British & Irish Cup is going to be superb. It will give our players the chance to see at what standard their game is," added Moriarty. "They might not be full time professionals, but they are still getting paid to play the game. So playing the likes of the Munster and Leinster academies, as well as the Division 1 clubs in England, will give our players the chance to show what sort of quality there is at this level in Welsh rugby and see how competitive we are.
"I think it will be good for these players to find out just how good they are. It was always great to play against teams from other countries in the amateur era and to find out how you compared.
"Now they will have that chance again, as well as being able to carry on with all the traditional Welsh rivalries. There couldn't be a better time to be involved in the Principality Premiership."
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Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
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