Flanker Geraint Lewis has decided to call it a day, at senior level at least, and will depart Pontypridd this summer.
The former Wales international has been one of the star performers for Pontypridd over the past decade during his three spells with the club. His intelligent ball playing skills and ability to creatively attack from set piece and broken play have been his trademark, an asset to the Ponty team, and which will now be sorely missed as he steps down from premiership level.
A product of Llantwit Fardre Youth, Geraint progressed to the Ponty ranks via UWIC, and having represented Wales A, he went on to win a first senior cap against South Africa in 1999. Following a spell with Swansea RFC, Lewis returned to Pontypridd in 2001 and resumed his role as an influential back row player during the club's successful domestic and European campaigns. Further international honours followed with a tally of 16 senior caps for Wales.
As Welsh rugby went regional, Lewis moved over the border to ply his trade, spending time with Rotherham, Bath and Bristol between 2003 and 2007.
Deciding that there is no place like home, Lewis returned to Pontypridd yet again in 2007, becoming a senior statesman of the squad, and rolling back the years with his deft ball playing skills once more in evidence. His rugby career will now turn full circle as he returns to his club of origin, Llantwit Fardre, as a player / forwards coach.
Former playmate and coach at Pontypridd, Dale McIntosh, has been emphatic in his praise of Geraint Lewis as he now departs the club.
"Geraint has been a great ambassador for Ponty both on and off the pitch" said McIntosh, "always giving 100% for the club. He is one of the most skilled back rowers that I have ever played with, and his passing ability and generic skills are of a higher standard than most backs," he said.
"In addition to his playing skills, Geraint is a good person, the quiet man who has done his talking with ball in hand. He has played with some of the all time greats at Ponty, the likes of Neil Jenkins and Martyn Williams, and has been a big part of that success.
"Geraint's heart and soul remain committed to the game, but the body finds it harder to take the knocks. He now has a young family, and that will be his priority. We all wish Geraint the very best in his future endeavors".
Geraint Lewis was recently honoured by Pontypridd RFC during the club's "100 Cap Dinner", and his place in the Sardis Road "Hall of Fame" is assured.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.