A stop-start season for Pontypridd takes another turn of direction with a resumption of their league campaign, playing hosts to Swansea at Sardis Road tomrrow, the game kicking off at 2:30pm.
With only one league match played since the first week of December 2008, and that ending in defeat at Neath, Ponty will be eager to secure an important home win to project themselves up the premiership table.
Home form has been solid for Pontypridd this season, having won all seven league and cup games on their own patch, and the aim now will be to post another winning performance against the All Whites.
Swansea made the most of their own home advantage in the corresponding fixture at St Helens back in early October when they played the difficult conditions to good effect in gaining a 23pts to 7 victory.
A combination of injury and national selection has forced Pontypridd into making numerous changes, nine in all, from the starting line up that scored an emphatic cup win over Pontypool last time out.
Long term absentees Adam Thomas (shoulder), Lewis Williams (back) and Pat Palmer (abdominal muscle) are joined by full back Kristian Baller, out with a virus, and flanker Wayne O'Connor who pulled up in training with a shoulder strain. Hooker Rhys Williams was not considered at the bequest of the Wales under 20 squad management.
Lawrence Price reverts to the full back role for Ponty, with a revised half back pairing of Dai Flanagan and Andrew Jenkins. Huw Dowden is given a start at hooker, with Grant Harrington and Ryan Savage back in tandem in the second row and Geraint Lewis returning from injury to the blindside flank.
Pontypridd: 15.Lawrence Price. 14.Owen Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Mike Davies. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Andrew Jenkins; 1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Grant Harrington. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Geraint Lewis. 7.Rhys Lloyd. 8.Nathan Strong (capt).
Subs: Matthew Hutchings; Gareth McCarthy; Rhys Downes; Sam Hobbs; Leighton Davies; Chris Dicomidis; Kristian Dacey
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'.