The Welsh Rugby Union has signalled the importance of the Principality Premiership Division by announcing that a representative fixture is to be played against a Georgia international XV next month.
A team of players from amongst all 14 Premiership teams will face one of the emerging powers of the European game at the Brewery Field in Bridgend on March 27(KO 7pm).
The Principality Premiership XV fixture againstGeorgiais the first major game for a representative team selected from the semi professional division of the game inWales.
Georgian rugby has come of age in recent years with the senior national squad making a powerful impact in the 2011 Rugby World Cup securing a pool victory against Romania and running Scotland close.
Many of the elite Georgian players are based inFranceand the team is renowned for its power and physicality.
After the Bridgend game Georgiawill travel north to play a fixture against RGC 1404 at the Eirias stadium in ColwynBay on Saturday March 31.
The WRU has announced that Simon King of Aberavon has been appointed Head Coach of the Principality Premiership XV with Assistant Coaches Lyndon Lewis from Llandovery (Backs) and Greg Woods of Cross Keys (Forwards).
The importance of the game is reflected in the coaching team with the age grade international experience of King complimented by Lewis who has seen his Llandovery side top the league table and Woods whose team has achieved a semi final place in the British and Irish Cup.
The Principality Premiership Division is currently a WRU priority with plans in place to reform the league from a 14 team structure to 12.
The division has been heralded by the WRU as a key building block within the development pathway which supports the pinnacle of the elite game inWales.
The RGC 1404 team will be coached by the formerWalestight head prop Chris Horsman with assistant coaches to be appointed from within North Wales.
TheUnionhas decided it is important to retain a north Wales focus in the off-the-field coaching line up to embrace the strides being made in boosting rugby within area now designated as a development region
The WRU Head of Rugby, Joe Lydon, said: "I am delighted we have been able to secure these landmark fixtures against such strong opposition.
"The Principality Premiership Division is a vital part of the game inWalesand we want to celebrate its significance and success.
"We know the coaches will be able to select a talented and determined team capable of putting on a strong performance against excellent opposition.
"The coaches are all of proven ability so we are confident the team will be ready to give of their best on the night.
"This will be an opportunity for supporters from all the Premiership teams to come together with one voice to show just what this division means to them.
"The North Wales fixture is yet another example of how the WRU is determined to put rugby in that region on the map.
"This is a statement of our intent to recognise the support for the game in the north and engender even more enthusiasm and support for RGC 1404.
"Chris Horsman is a top class coach and he will ensure he selects a team which truly reflects the strength of the game in the north.
"We had fantastic support at Eirias for the recent Wales U20 international against Scotland so we know the fans will turn out to cheer on their team on the 31st."
The Chairman of the Principality Premiership Division clubs, Chris Clarke of Cross Keys, said: "I am delighted the WRU has decided to form this representative team for such a prestigious fixture.
"It is a great opportunity for Premiership players to prove their quality and step up to representative level rugby.
"It will be a tough call to select the team because of the quality on display week in week out but I know the coaches we have appointed will do a great job.
"I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to the game as I guarantee they will see a match worth watching.
"The recent photograph taken of the senior national squad players in the jerseys of the Premiership Division teams they first played for was great exposure and this fixture adds to that visibility.
"This is important for our supporters and our sponsors so I am really looking forward to a great game on March the 27th.
Web by Infonia