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."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.