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.
The on and off-field benefits of schools and colleges employing a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub initiative continue to grow with the publication of the first half term figures of the current academic year.
Despite being in a tough group for the World Series opener in Dubai, Wales 7s head coach Gareth Williams says it is an exciting challenge and his squad are in a positive frame of mind, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
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