Paul John's Pontypridd face a stiff challenge against defending champions Leinster at Sardis Road.
Pontypridd face their British & Irish Cup D-Day on Saturday at Sardis Road with a home semi-final tie against reigning tournament champions Leinster A. (KO 2:30pm).
Qualification to the final will be incentive enough to win, but in the knowledge also that a home draw in that round is guaranteed with the result.
Irish provincial giants Leinster A will come to Pontypridd on top form and with a daunting reputation, having won all their qualifying pool games and then seeing off rivals Munster A by 47-15 in the quarter finals. Ponty meanwhile just edged qualification from a tough Pool 2 and then gained a narrow 14-16 quarter final away win at Cornish Pirates.
Pontypridd and Leinster have met three times previously in the BIC, the result going with home advantage on each occasion. In the quarter final round of the 2011 - 2012 tournament Leinster registered a comprehensive 34-0 victory in Dublin. At the qualifying stage the following season Ponty edged a 25-23 win at Sardis Road but then lost away at Donnybrook by 21-9.
Ponty's selection options have been impacted by late injuries to centre Gavin Dacey with a hamstring twinge, and hooker Huw Dowden with rib cartilage damage. They join long term absentees, winger Chris Clayton (shoulder) and Alex Webber (groin), scrum half Tom Williams (ankle), prop Pat Palmer (shoulder) and flanker Jake Thomas (ankle).
Wales Sevens captain Adam Thomas makes a welcome return from a recent shoulder injury to claim the outside centre position, with prop Keiron Jenkins also declared fit after suffering a strained wrist. Outside half Simon Humberstone and lock Chris Dicomidis return to club duties from the Blues senior squad.
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.