Aberavon will be hoping Ceiron Thomas, a new signing from Cardiff, can boot them to safety
Principality Premiership action returns this Saturday with two intriguing local derbies.
Ceiron is a very welcome addition to the squad as he brings a huge amount of experience at a critical time of our season
At the bottom of the table, there is a vital clash at the Talbot Athletic Ground as Aberavon host Swansea. The two sides are eleventh and twelfth respectively and both sides know a win is vital if they are to have hopes of staying in the division.
Going into tomorrow's encounter, the Wizards have been boosted by the arrival of a number of new arrivals. Perhaps the most high profile of these is fly half Ceiron Thomas, who joins from Cardiff. Swansea-born Thomas made his debut for the Scarlets in the 2003-04 season and has also featured for Cornish Pirates and Leeds Carnegie.
"Ceiron has proved he can operate at the highest level," said Aberavon head coach Jason Hyatt. "He is a great talent, his leadership and experience will be invaluable in the development of our young players here at Aberavon".
Aberavon Chairman Andrew John added: "Ceiron is a very welcome addition to the squad as he brings a huge amount of experience at a critical time of our season and I'm sure he will be a key signing for us."
Also joining up at the Talbot Athletic Ground ahead of tomorrow's game are former Swansea backrower James Bija and fellow loose forward Andrew Gwynne. Cornish Pirates pair Rheon James and Tom Duncan complete the new arrivals.
"James Bija is the sort of player you would go to war with," said Hyatt. "He has one speed and that is flat out, aggressive and destructive.
"Andrew Gwynne is a player with an excellent all round skill set and is also an accomplished sevens operator. He has made an instant impact at Aberavon and I'm sure we will see him develop further".
Bija starts on the bench for the Wizards tomorrow with Thomas and James featuring in the backline from the off.
Saturday's other Premiership fixture sees Bedwas return to competitive action for the first time since January 11. Steve Law's side face a Cross Keys outfit who have impressed this season, but suffered only their fifth defeat of the season last time out away to Moseley in the British & Irish Cup. Tomorrow's game is the first of three quick-fire games between the two sides and Law knows his side are in for a tough encounter.
"Cross Keys are a fine team - they are in good form and we are expecting a difficult game," he said.
After not featuring since their SWALEC Cup victory over Bargoed a fortnight ago, Bedwas make a number of changes. Up front, Matthew Pettit replaces Joe Mills at tight head prop, captain Simon Grainger moves across to openside flanker with James Thomas and Dan Crimmins returning at blindside flanker and No. 8 respectively.
Behind the scrum, Tom Edwards starts at scrum half in place of Luke Crane, Glen Lewis returns on the left wing with Rory Budina moving to the opposite flank in place of Steve Cullen. Lewis Hudd starts at outside centre in place of Ryan Evans.
Keys have already defeated Bedwas once this season, Greg Woods' men easing to a 45-13 victory with Danny Hodge and Nathan Trowbridge crossing for a pair of tries apiece. Dorian Jones, Principality Premiership Player of the Month for December, starts at outside half tomorrow afternoon with Gerwyn Price moving from his normal hooking berth to the back row alongside Reuben Tucker and skipper Adam Powell.
Principality Premiership fixtures: Saturday, January 25.
Aberavon v Swansea (KO 2.30pm)
Bedwas v Cross Keys (KO 2.30pm)
The Welsh Rugby Union has signed a new four year deal with specialist equipment supplier Rhino Rugby, which is set to benefit both the grass roots game in Wales and the national squad in equal measure.
We watch the new grass growing and being stitched together in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to Millennium Stadium groundsman Lee Evans, Wales great Ieuan Evans gives an overview on the new strategy announced by head of rugby Josh Lewsey, while we also hear from Bedwas, Aberavon and Carmarthen Quins in the Principality Premiership.
Wales assistant coach Rob Howley was welcomed with open arms by the staff and players at Crymych recently when he hosted a training session in memory of former club captain and coach, Glyndwr Richards.
We hear about the WRU's annual report and some exciting new plans for schools and clubs round Wales in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. WRU finance director Steve Phillips explains the money side, while head of rugby Josh Lewsey explains his new strategy for schools and clubs. We also get reaction from all round Wales.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a nationwide education programme, to help all involved in the game to recognise and remove' players with concussion. Wales, Racing Metro and Lions centre Jamie Roberts Wales assistant coach Rob Howley, WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey and representatives of grassroots clubs in Wales who helped finalise the policy. We also hear from WRU National Medical Manager Prav Mathema, plus Llanelli and Cardiff in the Principality Premiership.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a nationwide education programme, to help all involved in the game to recognise and remove' players with concussion. Wales, Racing Metro and Lions centre Jamie Roberts took time out of his club commitments to raise the profile of the campaign launch held at Pontyclun Rugby Club.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a nationwide education programme, to help all involved in the game to recognise and remove' players with concussion. Interview with WRU National Medical Manager Prav Mathema.
The WRU's Women and Girls legacy events - #TRY OUR GAME have proved popular this week with current players and newcomers to the game learning new skills and picking up tips from national squad players.
We caught up with Shona and Ellie from the Wales women team ahead of the start of the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris next month at a recent women's training session to encourage and promote more women and girls to try their hand at rugby. #tryourgame
We hear from the Wales camps in South Africa and New Zealand, as well as the EGM, in this week's principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Defence coach Shaun Edwards and forwards coach Robin McBryde look ahead to the Springboks, Angus O'Brien and Mark Taylor look back at heartbreak for Wales Under 20s, while group chief executive Roger Lewis and chairman David Pickering face the Welsh press after being vindicated at the EGM.
The Principality Premiership returns to action this weekend where Cross Keys aim to topple table toppers Pontypridd. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie talks to Keys head coach Greg Woods as he prepares for the trip to Sardis Road.
Pontypridd captain Dafydd Lockyer says his side will play with 'no fear' when they take on Worcester Warriors at Sixways in the quarter-finals of the British and Irish Cup on the weekend of January 23/24/25, 2015.
Developing the game in Wales and creating a stable and progressive environment for players of the future
Taking the grass roots game out across the length and breadth of the nation, the SWALEC Leagues are the focus of the community rugby in Wales
The SWALEC Cup, Plate and Bowl continue the legacy of the WRU Challenge Cup, culminating in a shot at glory at the Millennium Stadium
Women's Community Rugby embraces both the regional and community club game from Girls' Leagues through to the Women's Premier Division