Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the dawn of a 'new era' for rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales alongside the announcement of the new GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures.
The PRO12 has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has a vibrant future ahead of it and this new association with Guinness really feels like it signifies the dawn of a new and dynamic era for the competition.
Guinness was confirmed this morning as the new title sponsor for the competition which kicks off for 2014/2015 in the first weekend of September with the Scarlets hosting Ulster at Parc y Scarlets, the Ospreys facing Benetton Treviso at the Liberty Stadium and both the Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons on the road - to Zebre and Connacht Rugby respectively.
"The news that Guinness are on board as the new title sponsors of the GUINNESS PRO12 will be universally welcomed by everyone involved with the competition," said Mr Lewis.
"To have attracted the sponsorship of such a major blue chip brand reflects the innate value of the competition and is also testament to the hard work and dedication of the PRO12 executive. The commercial team at the PRO12 must be applauded for having secured such a heavy-weight of the international business world as a commercial partner.
"The PRO12 has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has a vibrant future ahead of it and this new association with Guinness really feels like it signifies the dawn of a new and dynamic era for the competition."
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
James Davies was one of three Welsh players announced in Team GB's men's sevens squad for Rio yesterday at a sweltering Trafalgar Square. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie battles with a Japanese tour guide as 'Cubby' reveals who has made his teammate, Sam Cross, the player he is today.
Robin McBryde and son Billy are set to represent Wales on either side of the globe over the coming weeks with Robin travelling to New Zealand as Wales assistant coach and Billy competing at the World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7-25). WRU TV caught up with the pair and captured a unique perspective into the factors that produce such a high-achieving rugby family.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Cardiff Blues hung on to win 23-21 in Italy and extend their unbeaten run in the Guinness PRO12 to four matches.
Having lost five and drawn one of their last 10 PRO12 visits to Italy the Blues travelled hoping to end their Italian curse.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.