Pontypridd will seek to progress to the second round of the Parker Pen European Challenge Cup, as they take on Roma at Sardis Road on Saturday 19th October, the game now kicking off at a revised time of 2:30 p.m.
Contrary to the many rumours circulating at present, as far as Pontypridd are aware, the game is definitely on, as confirmed by the ERC. Having brought back with them a 60pts to 18 advantage from the away tie last week-end, Ponty will go into the return game as clear favourites, but as is always the club's philosophy, taking nothing for granted.
Coach Lynn Howells can afford to experiment a little with his selection policy, draughting in youngster Matthew Nuttall to the full back role, giving Shaun James his first start of the season at centre, Neil Hennessy coming in at tight head prop, with Sven Cronk recalled from his loan period at Pontypool, as front row cover on the bench. There are some injury worries amongst the squad, as centre Jonny Bryant, with a calf strain, prop Duncan Bell with back spasms, and flanker Nick Kelly with rib damage, are all definitely sidelined. Winger Gareth Wyatt is another casualty, having this week been struggling with an ankle injury, and while hopeful of making a full recovery in time for the week-end, sees Richard Johnston standing by to wear the number 14 shirt if required.
The Pontypridd team selected to face Roma on Saturday reads as follows...
14.Gareth Wyatt. 13.Shaun James. 12.Jason Lewis. 11.Emyr Lewis.
10.Ceri Sweeney. 9.Paul John (cpt).
1.Gethin Jenkins. 2.Matthew Rees. 3.Neil Hennessy.
4.Brent Cockbain. 5.Robert Sidoli.
6.Geraint Lewis. 7.Richard Parks.
subs: Brett Davey; Neil Jenkins; Gareth Baber; Mefin Davies; Sven Cronk; Dale McIntosh; Wayne O'Connor.
Flanker Kingsley Jones is the latest Pontypridd player to be loaned out on permit to a first division club to gain match fitness. Kingsley Jones will be able to turn out for Cross Keys when not required by Pontypridd, with similar loan deals already in existence for Richard Johnston, with Llanharan, Jason Lewis with Newbridge, Sven Cronk with Pontypool, and Wayne O'Connor with Rumney.
Full back Brett Davey has received a well-earned call up this week to train with the Wales senior squad, currently preparing for the forthcoming autumn internationals. This brings the quota of Ponty players involved with the Welsh set up to nine, the others being Sonny Parker, Neil Jenkins, Ceri Sweeney, Gethin Jenkins, Mefin Davies, Robert Sidoli, Richard Parks and Michael Owen.
Play Off Final
Total votes 113
Ponty ar ben eu digon - pencampwyr dwbwl Cymru. Pwy oedd yn serennu yn y gem fawr yn erbyn Llanelli? Ponty on top of the world - double champions of Welsh rugby. Who starred in the big win over Llanelli?