Pontypridd RFC will this weekend finalise their pre-season preparations with an away friendly at English Division Two side Cinderford RFC. The game on Saturday 22nd August will kick off at 3pm.
With the Principality Premiership campaign getting underway the following Saturday, and with a solid run of performances behind them in their summer warm up itinerary, Ponty will now seek to build up to a strong run in to the season proper.
Good hospitality off the field is guaranteed by host club Cinderford, and in the time honoured tradition of Forest of Dean rugby, a hard fought and eagerly contested battle on the field of play.
Currently out of contention for Pontypridd are fly-half Aaron Bramwell and hooker Tom Hetherington, both with ankle ligament damage, and scrum half Gavin Morris with a knee injury. Flanker Wayne O'Connor is rested as he recovers from a shoulder strain.
Blues players, outside half Dai Flanagan and prop Sam Hobbs are both on regional duty this weekend, but with scrum half Rhys Downes, hooker Rhys Williams and prop Pat Palmer all available for club duty.
A strong Ponty line up will also include the dynamic centre pairing of Dacey and Lockyer, with Dicomidis and Martenko packing down at lock, in a side led by influential no 8 Nathan Strong.
Young hopefuls Dean Gunter at outside half and John Williams at loose head prop are given another opportunity to impress. An extended bench will be utilised, with the remainder of the squad available as substitutes.
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.