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.
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.