Following a three week lay off from competitive action, Pontypridd will aim to get the show back on the road this coming Saturday 21st February, with an away SWALEC Cup tie against Cross Keys, the game kicking off at 2:30pm.
With the competition into its sixth round, Ponty face an away trip for the first time this season, with expectations of a tough encounter against a revitalised Cross Keys at Pandy Park. An emphatic sixty point victory in the league for Pontypridd at the same venue back in November will have little bearing on the winner-takes-all cup battle to come.
Out injured for Ponty are winger Chris Clayton, still troubled by an abdominal strain, hooker Leighton Davies with a calf strain, and lock Chris Martenko with a jarred neck. Flanker Rhys Lloyd will see out the last weekend of his compulsory rest
period following concussion.
Back in the frame are centre Adam Thomas, prop Pat Palmer and flanker Wayne O'Connor, having recovered from recent shoulder and rib injuries. Scrum half Rhys Downes and hooker Rhys Williams also return to club duties, taking a break from the Wales under 20s Six Nations' campaign.
Despite the recent lack of match practice, Ponty team manager Richard Langmead is confident that his players are ready to take up action stations with a bid for cup glory.
"The squad have trained well over the past week" said Langmead. "Going a few weeks without a fixture has proved to be an incentive for the boys to double their efforts, they have prepared well and are itching to go.
"We expect a totally different contest to the league match, with a far more difficult task to face, but we remain confident of making it into the next round of the cup".
The Pontypridd team selected to face Cross Keys is as follows:
15.Matthew Hutchings. 14.Kristian Baller. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Owen Williams. 10.Gareth McCarthy. 9.Rhys Downes.
1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Pat Palmer. 4.Grant Harrington. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Geraint Lewis. 7.Wayne O'Connor. 8.Nathan Strong - cpt.
Subs: Andrew Jenkins; Dai Flanagan; Lawrence Price; Rhys Williams; Kristian Dacey; Ryan Savage; Sam Hobbs.
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.