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."
Defence coach Shaun Edwards believes Saturday's clash against England - the 'form team in world rugby' - poses a huge challenge for his side but he is confident, with Wales beginning to show the defensive qualities displayed in the last two World Cups,
At the official launch of this season's RBS 6 Nations at a noisy location in London this morning, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones reveals he is personally proud to be in the Wales team and is already looking forward to the opening clash against Italy which is a 'tough ask'.
It was a double celebration for Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb when he called at the home of Welsh rugby to help commemorate the first anniversary of Principality Stadium and his return to fitness this weekend ahead of the RBS 6 Nations.