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)
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
This week on the Pick and Go Podcast, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie is joined by South Wales Argus rugby writer Chris Kirwan to preview this weekend's Principality Premiership action. Aberavon winger Steffan Andrews also makes an appearance.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
This week in the Principality Premiership, all roads lead to the new pitch at Sardis Road where Pontypridd take on Merthyr in the most highly anticipated game of the season. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie previews the big clash, along with all the other Premiership games this weekend, with guest Ioan Dyer.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
In the first 'Pick and Go' podcast of the season, WRU TV looks ahead to the Principality Premiership. We chat to WRU Head of Performance Geraint John, Carmarthen Quins head coach Richard Kelly, Merthyr's head coach Lee Jarvis and get the opinions of journalists Chris Kirwan and Ioan Dyer as the new season prepares to kick off this weekend.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances