Pontypridd face a midweek foray to the Arms Park on tomorrow evening to take on arch rivals Cardiff in a re-arranged Principality Premiership tie (KO 7:15pm).
Into the final two months of a season which promises much for the Valley Commandoes, but which will test the squad to its very limits before anything is delivered in terms of trophies won, the intense routine of playing games on the weekend and midweek has already been set.
In defending their current status as Premiership leaders, Ponty will face a rejuvenated Cardiff team who are on a six match winning run in league and cup. As ever there will be an edge to a fixture that is steeped in tradition as well as having a huge bearing on the here and now of the current campaign.
When the two teams met at Sardis Road in the reverse fixture back in October, Cardiff battled out a 16-16 all draw - the only team to have taken anything from the House of Pain this season.
Wing Owen Williams is the only fresh casualty in the Ponty squad, having pulled up in last Saturday's bonus point home win over Llandovery with a calf strain. There are nine changes made from the line up that started that game.
Pontypridd: 15.Gareth Wyatt. 14.Lewis Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Simon Humberstone. 9.Lewis Jones; 1.Ken Knaggs. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Craig Locke. 5.Matthew Screech. 6.Jake Thomas. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Chris Dicomidis (capt)
Replacements: Garyn Lucas; Dean Gunter; Gary Williams; Tom Hetherington; Lewis Smout; Calum Thomas; Ed Siggery.
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'.