Adam Thomas (with ball) will add thrust from full back for Ponty.
Pontypridd continue on an extended run of away games as the Principality Premiership campaign picks up momentum, their next assignment being tonight's visit to Ebbw Vale. (KO 7.30pm)
With the heads of the Gwent Valleys traditionally being a difficult venue for Ponty, the fact that their opponents currently occupy an unfamiliar position at the foot of the Premiership table will count for little, with another tough encounter expected against the Steelmen of Ebbw.
A combination of injuries and leave of absence have entailed some changes made to the Ponty squad, with Blues Academy youngsters, lock McCauley Cook and prop Lewis Smout called up to action.
Sidelined through injury are outside half Dai Flanagan (ankle) and prop Pat Palmer (shoulder), joining long term absentees, scrum half Gavin Morris and prop Stuart Williams.
Away on domestic leave are locks Ryan Savage, Chris Martenko and Grant Harrington, and scrum half Kristian Baller.
Outside half Aaron Bramwell returns from injury to the starting line up, with Lewis Williams claiming one of the wing positions. Another returnee is flanker Rhys Lloyd, whilst scrum half Carl Thomas is drafted in on permit from Llantwit Fardre to cover on the bench.
Pontypridd: 15.Adam Thomas. 14.Lewis Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Aaron Bramwell. 9.Rhys Downes. 1.Sam Hobbs. 2.Rhys Williams. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.McCauley Cook. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Rhys Lloyd. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Nathan Strong (capt). Replacements: Carl Thomas; Dean Gunter; Chris Clayton; Huw Dowden; Darren Waters; Kristian Dacey; Lewis Smout
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.