On a day of big Premiership clashes, Neath visit Cardiff - the team with the best record against them in the semi-professional era - at the Arms Park (kick off 2.30pm).
The Welsh All Blacks were a little unlucky to lose 32-34 at Newport last week in a match deemed "the best ever in the Premiership" by several neutral observers. Neath would not necessarily agree with that assessment a there have been many memorable matches in the last six seasons but, even in defeat, it is heartening to hear others praise the quality of their play.
Long-term injury victims Stephen Thomas and Dafydd Lockyer returned to action last week and both are named for the Cardiff trip. Neath are able to call on returning Ireland Under-20's international Ciaran Ruddock while winger David Evans, outside-half Matty James, prop Johnny Thomas and hooker Ashleigh James also return and the Welsh All Blacks again include promising young back row recruit Shaun Miles (Ammanford).
Neath Director of Rugby Rowland Phillips, said: "We did not get the rub of the green at Newport last week and to lose to a very late penalty was disappointing. But Llanelli's defeat by Cross Keys has kept things interesting at the top where Cardiff, Newport and Aberavon are very much in the hunt and I think Pontypridd will also play a big part in the final shakedown.
"There was much to commend in our display at Rodney Parade but we have worked hard in training this week to remedy one or two aspects of our game that were not up to scratch and will need to be improved at Cardiff.
"Cardiff have the best record of all against us so we fully appreciate the size of the challenge ahead of us. They had a tough time at Ebbw Vale last week but they won to ease the disappointment of their Cup defeat at Llanelli and they have gathered a very formidable line-up.
"Phil Davies and Lee Jarvis have added a streetwise edge to Cardiff, they play in the right areas and they have recruited well with lots of top players. We are looking forward to playing on another big stage."
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