Pontypridd round off their qualifying games in Pool D of the British & Irish Cup with a home tie against Birmingham & Solihull this evening (KO 7:30pm).
This encounter will be the third in succession for Ponty against English Championship opposition, having already gained creditable wins at home against Rotherham Titans and away against Doncaster Knights. Also being the second of three games to be played within the space of eight days, the demands on the Pontypridd squad are high.
A win against the Bees will secure outright qualification for Pontypridd from their pool with a 100% record and ensuring a home draw in the quarter final stage of the competition.
With a need to rest players, and with the eight players selected for the Wales Under 20s squad unavailable, changes are inevitably made from the line up which took a bonus point win from the visit to Doncaster last Saturday.
Amongst the players given an opportunity to prove themselves in a tough challenge against the Bees are wing Chris Clayton, outside half Dean Gunter, scrum half Garyn Lucas, props Chris Phillips and Ryan Harford, hooker Huw Dowden and flankers Jake Thomas and Wayne O'Connor - all introduced in a raft of squad rotation. A shortage of second row cover sees an A.N. Other provisionally named on the bench.
Pontypridd 15.Gareth Wyatt. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Owen Williams. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Garyn Lucas; 1.Chris Phillips. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Craig Locke. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Jake Thomas. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Chris Dicomidis (capt).
Replacements: Kristian Baller; Simon Humberstone; Matthew Nuthall; Ken Knaggs; Tom Hetherington; A.N. Other; Darren Waters
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series