Pontypridd resume their Principality Premiership league campaign this evening with a re-arranged away fixture at Cross Keys (KO 7:30pm).
A long period of enforced inactivity due to the severe winter weather came to a close for Ponty with a high scoring home cup win over Felinfoel on Saturday. That game proved to be a good exercise in running off the effects of an extended lay off. The season will move up a gear now as Ponty get back to league duties at the difficult venue of Pandy Park.
Pontypridd make a number of changes from the line up that ran out clear winners against Felinfoel, some due to regional and international call ups, some due to squad rotation.
Drafted to train with the Blues senior squad this week are outside half Dai Flanagan, prop Sam Hobbs, hooker Huw Dowden and lock Chris Dicomidis. Centre Aaron Bramwell has departed to New Zealand with the Wales Sevens squad.
Sidelined through injury is lock Grant Harrington, with an abdominal strain, whilst flanker Rhys Lloyd is working away.
Centre Gavin Dacey makes a return following a five week disciplinary ban, with hooker Rhys Williams available from Blues duties and prop Stuart Williams back from injury, the latter two taking their places on the bench. Also featuring amongst the replacements is back five forward Craig Locke, drafted in on permit from Mountain Ash.
Pontypridd: 15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Rhys Downes; 1.Lewis Smout. 2.Tom Hetherington. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.McCauley Cook. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Wayne O'Connor. 7.Darren Waters. 8.Nathan Strong - cpt.
Subs: Kristian Baller; Matthew Hutchings; Gary Williams; Rhys Williams; Chris Martenko; Stuart Williams; Craig Locke
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.