Wales coach Mike Ruddock has described his team's four-Test autumn series as "key to the future of Welsh rugby".
Ruddock, who took over as national coach from Steve Hansen in May, must prepare Wales for November clashes with new Tri-Nations champions South Africa and England's summer conquerors New Zealand.
In addition, Ruddock's men face Friday night appointments with Romania and Japan as they look to build on the summer tour of Argentina and South Africa.
"We had an incredibly challenging summer tour, with two Tests in Argentina and one in South Africa, but the players have a fantastic series of matches to look forward to at the Millennium Stadium in November," said Ruddock.
"These four games are key to the future of Welsh rugby. They are the first stepping stone on the road to the 2007 World Cup and, to that extent, each is as important as the other.
"The only way we will improve as a rugby-playing nation is if we have regular contact with the top teams in the world," he added.
"By playing Argentina twice, the Springboks twice and the All Blacks ahead of the 2005 RBS 6 Nations Championship, we will have every chance of continuing the development that was so apparent under Steve Hansen."
The Romania and Japan games will take place on Friday nights following the South Africa match (November 6) and All Blacks clash (November 20).
"You have to go back eight years for the last time a Welsh team had the chance to test itself against two SANZAR nations in an autumn series," said Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett.
"It is vitally important that the Welsh players test themselves against the best in the world, and by bringing both the All Blacks and the Springboks to the Millennium Stadium we believe we are giving them the perfect opportunity to improve.
"Mike Ruddock is facing a real baptism by fire at the start of his two-year reign as Welsh coach, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
"He will have five fixtures against teams ranked higher than Wales in the world rankings in his first six months in office."
Following the demise of Celtic Warriors, Wales will have four teams in this season's Celtic League and European Cup competitions - Llanelli Scarlets, Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons and Neath-Swansea Ospreys.
And beneath the regional set-up, there will be a 17-club Welsh Premiership, including sides such as Llanelli, Newport, Pontypool, Bridgend and Swansea.
"We feel that we are moving strongly in the right direction, and that a strong challenge can be mounted for honours in the Celtic League and European competitions," said WRU chairman David Pickering, at today's launch of the Welsh domestic season in Cardiff.
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.