The Premiership campaign of 2011 – 2012 promises to be a keenly contested affair as the standards of the semi professional game are pushed to a higher level by the governing union’s initiatives.
The incentive of a reduction from fourteen to ten clubs competing for league honours the following season, the enhancement of WRU criteria and the build up of momentum in the British & Irish Cup are all factors that are set to significantly boost the Premiership’s profile.
WRU Head of Rugby Joe Lydon said: "We are looking forward to another exciting and competitive season of Principality Premiership rugby, with the fixtures already whetting the appetite of players, coaches, commercial partners and supporters alike.
"We know the play-off element to the league adds to the competitiveness of the Premiership for a large number of clubs as was seen last season with Cross Keys clinching the final British & Irish Cup spot by beating Newport in the qualification play-off final and Llanelli pipping Pontypridd to the post in the champion club play-off final.
"Our recent review of the Premiership clearly identified that the agreed role and purpose of the Division is yet to be fully realised but the recently announced reforms to be introduced ahead of the 2012/13 season, including the reduction of the league to ten clubs, mean the increase of on and off field resources across the Premier Division, and enhanced performance, development opportunities and sustainability.
"The planned reform of the Premiership will better enable the league to flourish as an entity and will, I am sure, help to underpin the player development models in conjunction with our regional partners, producing fitter, more skilful players for the Regions and hopefully the National Squad."
Giving a Pontypridd objective on developments within the domestic game, team manager Richard Langmead commented: "The standards are getting better and better, and will continue to improve during this coming season. Clubs are aware of the challenges being set and are responding by improving their facilities, their profiles and their playing squads.
"Clubs such as newly promoted Bridgend, Swansea, Newport and Cross Keys will benefit from their relationship with their regions, and will be able to field very competitive teams. There will simply be no easy games in this league. We at Pontypridd face a tough start with three away fixtures during the first month, and we will need to hit form right from the off.
"We set the standard in the league last season but we know that we will need to improve on that next season just to remain competitive."
Attached is a Pontypridd RFC fixture list for the coming season which can be saved and printed off.