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,
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.