(Main & Thumb) Michael Owen as captain of the Lions against Argentina
Michael Owen will return home to Wales on Sunday to share in the birth of his second child with wife Lucy.
Owen, who plays his first game on tour against Taranaki in New Plymouth on Wednesday, has agreed with the Lions management to come home for three days. He will return five days later when he hopes to push his case for a place in the first Test against the All Blacks on June 25th 2008.
"It was something that has been agreed and the management have been very supportive of me," said Owen. "They told me how important it is that I go home to be with my wife and that certainly helped. Hopefully I can play well this week and maybe get a chance to further prove myself ahead of the Test selection."
Owen, who captained the side against Argentina in Cardiff two weeks ago, has been relieved of that role for Wednesday's game in New Plymouth although the coaching staff have assured him that it does not reflect anything he did or did not do in that game at the Millennium Stadium.
Gareth Jenkins, who will coach the side on Wednesday alongside Ian McGeechan said: "It has been decided to switch the captaincy around and that is exactly what has happened this week. Michael did a fantastic job in leading the side in Cardiff and he is very much one of the key members of this side this week."
RGC 1404 have celebrated their crowning as Division One East winners, after just one season of competitive rugby. A big crowd turned out to support the clubs 'Celebration Saturday' when they were presented with the SWALEC trophy following their definitive 45-0 home win against Rhydydfelin on 18 May.
A special video package as Pontypridd claimed the double for the first time in their history by winning the Principality Premiership final, including match build-up, highlights, post match reaction and dressing room celebrations.