Pontypridd take on Aberavon in a SWALEC Cup quarter final tie at Sardis Road on Saturday (KO 2:30pm).
Progression in the Welsh Cup is now a prime target for Pontypridd, but a tough hurdle to overcome against what has always proved to be an aggressive and street-wise Aberavon side, coached as they are by former Sardis favourite Simon King.
Ponty welcome back a contingent of players from injury and international duties for this winner takes all encounter.
Wayne O'Connor resumes at flanker, with centre Dafydd Lockyer making a comeback to the bench, whilst young half back pair Dean Gunter and Rhys Downes return from the Wales Under 20s squad.
Sidelined through injury is wing Chris Clayton, and on duty with the Blues senior squad are outside half Dai Flanagan and hooker Rhys Williams.
According to Ponty team manger Richard Langmead, this is a must win game for the club. "The cup is vitally important for us, and we know we have the ability to progress, although up against an Aberavon team who are always formidable opponents," he said.
"If we play as we know we can, and build on our home record over the past two years, then we can make the most of our opportunity in this competition".
Pontypridd: 15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Owen Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Rhys Downes; 1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ken Knaggs. 4.Chris Martenko. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Nathan Strong (capt).
Replacements: Kristian Baller; Dafydd Lockyer; Gary Williams; Tom Hetherington; Kristian Dacey; Darren Waters; Ryan Harford.
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