Pontypridd points-machine Brett Davey has spoken out following his sides amazing PARKER PEN SHIELD semi-final victory over London Irish.
"At the final whistle we were all ecstatic. It was a great day for the club and everyone concerned with Pontypridd Rugby Football Club." said Davey, who scored 14 points in the 33-27 victory over the Exiles.
Although Pontypridd spent the previous six seasons battling it out in the Heineken Cup, this was by far and away their most successful European day.
In 1998/99 they progressed to the final eight of the Heineken Cup before being outgunned 71-14 by Stade Francais, but on Saturday, at Oxford United's Kassam Stadium, the Welshmen laid all previous European ghosts to rest as they blew away Powergen Cup winners London Irish with some scintillating rugby.
Pontypridd led 14-0 and 21-7 in the early stages of the first half, but the game swung like a pendulum after that with the Exiles never too far behind.
Davey said, "We always felt that London Irish had the ability to get back into the game, and so it proved. But we always felt that we were in control of our own destiny."
The victory has already sent strong signals across Europe whilst further confirming that Welsh rugby has definite strength in depth at club level.
"It's a huge boost to the club and the players and it's put Pontypridd back on the European club rugby map," added Davey.
Now, Pontypridd will have to conquer another English side if their quest for European glory is to be realised. Sale Sharks will be their opponents, once again at the Kassam Stadium, on Sunday, May 26th
"We've identified several key players. Jason Robinson and Charlie Hodgson are both very influential. But they have a very good pack too, so we're under no illusion about how difficult it's going to be."
Pontypridd have upset the applecart before, but this promises to be a real test of character for the self-proclaimed Valley Commandos.
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.