Cardiff and Pontypridd renew their rivalry in the British & Irish Cup tonight.
"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue (and black!)"
An age old rivalry of Welsh rugby will be reincarnated in a new format as Pontypridd take on the Blue & Blacks of Cardiff in the inaugural pool match of the British & Irish Cup this evening. (KO 7.15pm)
The match will be played at the Arms Park - with Ponty having to borrow their opponents' home ground. The new cup tournament offers a way forward for the semi professional club game in Wales, but can thrive on some of the old tribal rivalries in doing so.
Despite the disruption of bad weather and postponed games, along with the switch of venues, the Ponty squad have trained well this week and according to reports from within the camp, are champing at the bit for some competitive action.
Centre Gavin Dacey failed a late fitness test on his damaged shoulder, and joins flanker Kristian Dacey (shoulder), wing Owen Williams (jaw) and scrum half Gavin Morris (knee) on the sick list. Unavailable through regional commitments are props Sam Hobbs (Blues) and Pat Palmer (Dragons).
Kristian Baller continues on the wing, with Adam Thomas slotting in at outside centre. Outside half Dai Flanagan and lock Chris Dicomidis both return from a stint with the senior Blues squad to claim their places in the Ponty starting line-up, likewise hooker Rhys Williams on the bench.
Pontypridd 15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Kristian Baller. 13.Adam Thomas. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Rhys Downes; 1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Ryan Savage. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Rhys Lloyd. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Nathan Strong - cpt.
Replacements: Dean Gunter; Aaron Bramwell; Lewis Williams; Rhys Williams; Lewis Smout; Grant Harrington; Darren Waters,
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'.