The South African Challenge


In a late change of schedule, Pontypridd's Parker Pen European Challenge Cup home tie against Roma, to be played next Saturday 19th October, will now have a revised kick off time of 2:30 p.m. The game has been brought forward three hours from its original slot of 5:30 p.m. as it will not now be broadcast live on S4C television.

Another game that has arrived late on the schedule is a friendly fixture for the Pontypridd Academy under 21 team, who will now play Neath away at the Gnoll, on Wednesday evening 16th October, kicking of at 7:15 p.m. The Ponty under 21s, who will be without a league fixture for the third week-end running, will then travel to Bath on Saturday 19th October for another friendly game.

The format has now been confirmed for the "South African Challenge Cup", involving Pontypridd as one of four Welsh representatives, with a maximum of three games to be played mid November. Ponty will play hosts to the Northern Bulls on Friday evening 8th November, and then to Orange Free State on Tuesday evening 12th November. The other South African provinces participating in the tournament are Eastern Province and Western Province, with a final tie to be played between the best qualified of the Welsh, and South African teams, on Friday evening 15th November, with the venue being the home ground of the Welsh club.

This Challenge Cup coincides with the Autumn International series, and is designed to fill the void left in the domestic club calendar. For a club such as Pontypridd, who will be without their quota of international players, the games will provide an exciting opportunity to give high calibre match experience to all their squad players.

Pontypridd have a strong presence in the Glamorgan County team selected to face British Police, on Monday evening 14th October, at the Taffs Well ground. Full back Andrew McLaughlin from Rhymney, a member of Ponty's European squad, plays alongside winger Richard Johnston and centre Shaun James in the County team.

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