Skipper Gareth Gravell returns to action for Neath.
Possibly the biggest fixture in the Principality Premiership calendar takes place at The Gnoll on Monday when Neath entertain Aberavon in the annual holiday derby. (KO 4pm)
For those who like their rugby in the traditional mould, nothing can compare with the Christmas rivalry that is Neath against Aberavon and a big crowd is expected for a fixture that attracted over 7,000 on the corresponding day six years ago.
Due to a heavy injury-list, Neath fielded almost a shadow side against Plymouth Albion last weekend but most of the casualties are now on the mend and the Welsh All Blacks will be somewhere nearer their normal strength for Aberavon.
Among those returning is skipper Gareth Gravell while Llangennech hooker Aled Williams, one of several who impressed on debut against Plymouth Albion, is included for what will be his first League start.
Neath coach Patrick Horgan said, "The much-changed side put in a highly commendable effort against Plymouth Albion but there will be a lot of players returning against Aberavon.
"We have trained well this week in preparation for what is one of the great Welsh rugby occasions. We have a lot of respect for Aberavon who will as ever pose a keen challenge, the weather is mild and we are looking forward to the game.
"We will finalise our team after a Christmas Eve training-session but it is a game that everyone wants to be involved in as it will undoubtedly attract the biggest crowd of the season to The Gnoll."
** Neath advise spectators to arrive early to avoid congestion at the turnstiles and there is a full programme of pre - and post-match entertainment with Neath Schools Under-15's playing Bridgend at 1.30pm and the sold-out Scarlets-Opsreys televised tie will be shown in the Clubhouse.
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