With the run in to the climax of the Principality Premiership campaign now gathering momentum, Pontypridd go head to head against Pontypool at Sardis Road on Saturday 18th April, the game kicking off at 2:30pm.
Pooler are fighting for their lives in the division, and having impressively won their last three matches against Gwent rivals Newport, Cross Keys and Ebbw Vale, are making a good show of things. Still occupying bottom place in the table, but only two points adrift, Pontypool will undoubtedly pose a stiff test for a Ponty side seeking to extend their 100% home record.
A combination of injuries, recovery from injuries, and the resting of players during an intense schedule of games, has seen numerous changes made to the Pontypridd starting line up.
Both outside halves, Gareth McCarthy and Dai Flanagan, are sidelined with hamstring strains, with the versatile Kristian Baller wearing the number 10 shirt, and partnering young Rhys Downes at half back. Adam Thomas slots in at full back, with Gavin Dacey returning at centre following a stint with the Wales Sevens squad.
Flanker Geraint Lewis has pulled up with a groin strain, but Wayne O'Connor making a timely recovery from a bicep injury to take his place in the team. A rotation of the front row sees Stuart Williams and Ryan Harford packing down in the prop positions. Ponty have drafted in young outside half Dean Gunter from Abercynon, a player who has figured in the Blues Academy system, to cover at outside half.
The Pontypridd team selected to face Pontypool is as follows:
15.Adam Thomas. 14.Owen Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Mike Davies. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Kristian Baller. 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.
Subs: Andrew Jenkins; Dean Gunter; Lawrence Price; Leighton Davies; Grant Harrington; Chris Martenko; Pat Palmer.
The Webb Ellis Cup visited Lampeter on Monday to recognise the fact that the town is celebrating a major milestone as it is believed the first ever game of rugby played in Wales, was in fact played in Lampeter 150 years ago.
Cardiff Blues U18 Girls will go into Sunday's Gemau Cymru with an extra spring in their step after Welsh internationals Elinor Snowsill and Philippa Tuttiett offered some last minute tips at a training session earlier this week.
Rob Howley and Josh Lewsey addressed more than 250 community club coaches and referees at the first WRU National Community Conference on the weekend. The volunteers benefitted from coaching masterclasses and workshops in a bid to connect all levels of the rugby pathway in Wales.
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.