In bouyant mood following two hard fought victories, at home to Newport and away to Bridgend, Pontypridd continue their Celtic League campaign this coming Friday evening, 20th September, with a home game against Scottish Borders, kicking off at 7:05 p.m. due to live TV coverage.
Following a demanding physical encounter at Bridgend last time out, the Ponty squad have reported in this week with no injuries to declare, providing coach Lynn Howells with the luxury of a full quota of players from which to select his team. There will be first starts of the new season given to winger Emyr Lewis, just recovered from a hamstring injury, and hooker Matthew Rees, who steps up to give club captain Mefin Davies a well earned rest. These two new faces fit into an otherwise settled looking line up, which reads as follows...
15. Brett Davey.
14. Gareth Wyatt. 13. Sonny Parker. 12. Jon Bryant. 11. Emyr Lewis.
10. Neil Jenkins. 9. Gareth Baber.
1. Gethin Jenkins. 2 Matthew Rees. 3. Duncan Bell.
4. Dale McIntosh. cpt. 5. Robert Sidoli.
6. Michael Owen. 7. Richard Parks.
8. Geraint Lewis.
subs: Jason Lewis; Ceri Sweeney; Paul John; Neil Hennessy; Mefin Davies; Brent Cockbain; Wayne O'Connor.
The Scottish Borders will provide Ponty with a stern challange in their quest for qualification to the Celtic League knock out stages. A newly created provincial outfit, the Borders have attracted some of the top names in Scottish rugby to their ranks - the likes of Doddy Weir, Richard Metcalfe, Gary Armstrong, Gregor Townsend and Kevin Utterson - and although having endured a stuttering start to their campaign, will not be a team to be taken lightly.
Centre Shaun James, now fully recovered from a hamstring strain, will seek to get a taste of match action this week-end, with the possibility of turning out for his former club Carmarthen Quins in the first division, or as an over age player for the Pontypridd under 21 team. Other Ponty players who could figure elsewhere are props Sven Cronk, with Pontypool, and David Jones, on permit to Ebbw Vale, and winger Richard Johnston for Llanharan.
The Pontypridd under 21 team have an away league fixture against Swansea on Saturday 21st September, this game scheduled to be played at St. Helens, with a 2:30 p.m. kick off.