Pontypridd will seek to make a mark in their last Premiership fixture for some time, as SWALEC and British & Irish Cup duties return to the agenda from next week.
A home league tie against Bedwas tomorrow (KO 1pm), could be viewed as a must win game.
Having lost some of their early season momentum and now lying in fifth position in the table, Ponty will be determined to put behind them a disappointing reverse away at Llanelli last week, with a return to winning ways.
Their opponents currently lie in twelfth position, albeit a comfortable thirteen points clear of the drop zone, and always able to pose a threat.
Ponty's injury problems have been compounded by a couple of industrial accidents this week, with props Stuart Williams and Jon Williams both suffering knocks in work. Also sidelined are centre Dafydd Lockyer (groin),lock Grant Harrington (abdominal tear) and flankers Wayne O'Connor (rib cartilage) and Kristian Dacey (shoulder).
Centre Aaron Bramwell continues to tour New Zealand with the Wales Sevens squad, whilst scrum half Rhys Downes, hooker Rhys Williams and lock McCauley Cook are all selected for Wales under 20s against England.
With the Ponty squad stretched in many departments, there is a welcome return to club duties for hooker Huw Dowden and lock Chris Dicomidis who both recently featured for the Blues, whilst newly signed prop Ken Knaggs and flanker Matthew Rees, on permit from Merthyr, both take a place on the bench. Matthew Hutchings is given a start at number 10 as the only change in the back line.
Pontypridd 15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Matthew Hutchings. 9.Kristian Baller; 1.Lewis Smout. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Ryan Savage. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Rhys Lloyd. 7.Darren Waters. 8.Nathan Strong - cpt.
Replacements: Gavin Morris; Dean Gunter; Gary Williams; Tom Hetherington; Matthew Rees; Chris Martenko; Ken Knaggs.
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.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.