Chris Dicomidis scores in the friendly against Llandovery
The last weekend of pre-season will be a relatively quiet one for the Pontypridd RFC squad - a lull before heading into the on-coming storm of a new Premiership campaign.
Having played and won their three summer friendly fixtures, the squad will convene in the UWIC indoor athletic stadium on Saturday August 25 to finalise their fitness testing under the guidance of conditioning coach Darren Bool.
A week later, Ponty will travel to Cross Keys to launch their league campaign in a clash that will see two of the best sides in the division meet early on.
Pontypridd assistant coach Paul John has been pleased with the preparations for a new season.
"Our build up has been steady and we have made good progress" said John. "The two games against local opposition, Ystrad Rhondda and Llantrisant, gave us the chance to put into practice what we had been doing in training.
"The away game at Llandovery last Saturday was a tough test and overall we again made progress to plan. There was a bit of a blip during the second half when we conceded points, and which made it a close call at the end, but we saw our patterns of play developing as we wanted.
"Facing Cross Keys away in the first league game will be a huge test, but we are well prepared. We have a strong squad with real competition for selection in all positions. The boys have shown in pre-season training and in our friendly fixtures that there is a real appetite for the season to come."
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.