Blues Academy lock Cory Hill makes a welcome return to Ponty ranks.
Pontypridd go into a crunch British & Irish Cup quarter final tie away to Leinster A this weekend, at Donnybrook Park Dublin (KO 2pm.
Conceding home advantage as one of the qualifying pool leaders with the least points accumulated, Ponty no doubt face a daunting task against the powerful Irish province. They also go into the tie on the back of a disappointing away defeat to Bridgend in the Welsh Premiership the previous Saturday.
The tag of underdog is securely attached to Pontypridd in this winner takes all encounter, but that will suit the mindset of the Valley Commandos admirably.
A week of training where psychology has been as important as skills or fitness, has progressed well for Pontypridd. Their hopes have also been boosted by a quick return to fitness of outside half Simon Humberstone and prop Ryan Harford, both having undergone scans which dispelled the fears of a broken nose and thumb respectively.
Also making a welcome comeback from injury are Blues Academy lock Cory Hill and prop Pat Palmer, both going straight into the starting line up.
Drafted into the back line are promising young full back Harley Thomson and winger Lewis Williams. Chris Phillips takes over the loose head prop berth with Stuart Williams out injured and Ken Knaggs serving a suspension.
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
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.