Pontypridd will have little time to dwell on a disappointing away defeat at Ebbw Vale last weekend, as they go head on into traditionally one of their biggest games of the season, a home league clash against old rivals Cardiff.
Throughout all the tinkering to the structure of Welsh rugby, Pontypridd v Cardiff remains as one of the tribal rivalries that has transcended all change, and now has an even sharper edge to it as the two clubs vie against each other as regional bed-fellows.
Ponty have been focussing this week on the psychology of the game, as well as their usual physical preparations, in attempting to get over the Ebbw defeat, and build up to a clash against a Cardiff squad that has immense strength in depth.
The latest injury victim for Pontypridd is scrum half Gavin Morris who has been admitted to hospital with a blood clot on the lung. The thoughts of everybody at the club are with him in wishing him a speedy recovery. Also absent are prop Stuart Williams, just returned from holiday, and flanker Geraint Lewis, given time off to be with his partner who is expecting a baby.
Centre Gavin Dacey returns from injury to resume in the Ponty midfield, where Gareth McCarthy will start as outside half. Chris Clayton is called back to the wing, with Aled Brew continuing on the opposite wing on loan from the Blues senior squad. In the pack, Chris Dicomidis is moved to the back row, with Grant Harrington returning at lock. Young hooker Rhys Williams has been called up to the bench with the senior Blues team against Connacht on Friday evening, his commitment to Pontypridd on the following day dependant on his involvement in that game.
Pontypridd 15 .Lawrence Price. 14.Aled Brew. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Gareth McCarthy. 9.Andrew Jenkins. 1.Ian Poley. 2.Leighton Davies. 3.Sam Hobbs. 4.Ryan Savage. 5.Grant Harrington. 6.Chris Dicomidis. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Nathan Strong - cpt. Replacements: Dai Flanagan; Kristian Baller; Owen Cotton; Ryan Harford; Rhys Williams; Chris Martenko; Kristian Dacey.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.