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Pontypridd v RGC – match preview

With both sides on the wrong end of the score-line last weekend, Pontypridd and RGC 1404 face each other at Sardis Road on Friday night 21st September, with the match kicking off at 19:10, live on BBC Two.

Since RGC’s promotion to the Welsh Premiership back in 2016, the North Wales side have caused quite the stir in the semi professional game. Having reached the semi-finals of the league in their first season, they then went on to defeat Pontypridd at the Principality Stadium in the Welsh Cup Final of 2017.

Pontypridd tasted their first victory over RGC last season though with a scintillating 25-20 win at Sardis Road which gave the Valleys side the bragging rights of finishing above the North Wales outfit in the league.

Having lost star players such as Tiaan Loots and Jacob Botica to the Dragons in the summer, RGC softened the blow with the signing of former Wales Under 20’s fly half Billy McBryde from Llanelli.

The son of the former Welsh Hooker Robin has shone this season and has guided his side to victories over Neath and Swansea in the opening two game of the season. But having lost 12-19 to Ebbw Vale at home last week, RGC’s feet will be firmly grounded when they arrive at Sardis Road.

A similar tale played out for Pontypridd last Saturday as they succumb to a 25-19 defeat at Aberavon in a full-blooded encounter which they will be looking to put right on Friday evening.

With a number of injuries depleting the Ponty squad, amongst them winger Alex Webber, scrum half Huw Rees, lock Chris Dicomidis and flanker Rhys Shellard, changes are made with centre Tom Riley and scrum half Dai Francis making their first competitive appearances of the season.

The Pontypridd team selected to face RGC is as follows:

15.Gary Williams. 14.Dale Stuckey. 13.Tom Riley. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Alex Knott. 10.Ceri Sweeney. 9.Dai Francis.

1.Ian George. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Gareth Smith. 4.Sean Moore. 5.Shay Smallman. 6.Rhodri Jones. 7.Ross Morgan. 8.Morgan Sieniawski.

Subs: 16.Joe Page. 17.Huw Owen. 18.Joe Popple. 19.Josh Hawkins. 20.Sion Edwards. 21.Joel Raikes. 22.Jordan Rees. 23.Tom Hannah.

Nathan Parker