Pontypridd will see in the New Year with a home Principality Premiership tie against Ebbw Vale, to be played at Sardis Road tomorrow. (KO 2:30).
A fresh start to 2010 will suit Ponty well, as the club seek to re-ignite the dwindling flame of a league campaign which has been badly disrupted by postponements of late.
With four of their last six league matches having been called off, and the other two games played ending in defeat, a return to action, and to winning ways will be the new year's resolution for the Valley Commandos.
Currently out of contention for Ponty are wing Lewis Williams, with a hand injury, outside half Dean Gunter who has been laid low with a virus, centre Gavin Dacey suspended and flanker Rhys Lloyd just returned from domestic leave.
Chris Clayton comes in on the wing, with the versatile Aaron Bramwell taking over the outside centre role. Young lock McCauley Cook and flanker Darren Waters are given a chance to impress with places in the starting line up.
Pontypridd 15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Kristian Baller. 13.Aaron Bramwell. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Rhys Downes; 1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Chris Martenko. 5.McCauley Cook. 6.Chris Dicomidis. 7.Darren Waters. 8.Nathan Strong )capt)
Subs: Sam Hobbs; Rhys Williams; Lewis Smout; Grant Harrington; Wayne O'Connor; Dafydd Lockyer; Matt Hutchings.
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.