Pontypridd make their first foray into the British & Irish Cup campaign 2011 – 2012 with an away trip to Nottingham on Sunday 13th November, the game kicking off at 3pm.
The tournament this season is based on the concept of cross pool fixtures - Pontypridd are placed in Pool 5 but play their games against clubs from Pool 6.
Nottingham have already notched up two wins in the competition, against Doncaster and Rotherham, and are within sight of qualification for the quarter final stage. Ponty will need to hit the ground running at Meadow Lane on Sunday to have any hopes of emulating last season’s achievement of reaching the semi final round.
The Pontypridd management team have the benefit of a relatively injury free squad to work with as they prepare for the Nottingham trip, with centre Adam Thomas, outside half Simon Humberstone and hooker Jack Dando all recovering from shoulder operations, and second row Craig Locke with back trouble being the only long term absentees. Back rowers Jake Thomas and Owen Sheppeard have also failed to make the cut with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.
Young full back Harley Thomson is given his chance in the starting line-up, with Blues senior scrum half Rhys Downes recalled to club duties. Amongst the forwards lock Ryan Savage continues following a return from recent injury, with skipper Chris Dicomidis slotting into an experienced back row alongside Wayne O’Connor and Dan Godfrey.
15.Harley Thomson. 14.Owen Williams. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Matthew Nuthall. 10.Dean Gunter. 9.Rhys Downes.
1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Pat Palmer. 4.Cory Hill. 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Dan Godfrey.
Subs: Lewis Jones; Gareth Wyatt; Lewis I Williams; Darren Harris; Tom Hetherington; Jordan Sieniawski; Ryan Harford.