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.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.