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
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.