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Merthyr v Pontypridd match preview

Pontypridd commence their National Cup campaign with a first round tie away to Merthyr on Saturday 14th September. The match at Y Wern is a 5:15pm evening kick-off, screened live on S4C.

It was at the same venue, against the same team, that Ponty exited the competition last season, going down to defeat by 20pts to 11 in the third round. Honours were shared between the two rival valleys clubs in the league, the respective wins going with home advantage.

Having not won the National Cup since 2014 Pontypridd will certainly be targeting progression in a tournament that they have won six times, and been six times runners up. The first hurdle, away to last season’s losing finalists, will be a difficult one.

Pontypridd make two changes from the starting line-up that lost narrowly away to Cardiff in the league opener the previous weekend, Corey Sheppard stepping in at full back and Lloyd Evans into the back row, in place of flanker Rhys Shellard who suffered a dead leg in that match.

The Pontypridd team selected to face Merthyr is as follows:

15.Corey Sheppard. 14.Alex Webber. 13.Alex Knott. 12.Dafydd Lockyer – cpt. 11.Dale Stuckey. 10.Ben Jones. 9.Joel Raikes.

1.Huw Owen. 2.Ben Parry. 3.Morgan Bosanko. 4.Sean Moore. 5.James Murphy. 6.Lloyd Evans. 7.Morgan Sieniawski. 8.Kristian Parker.

Subs: 16.Nathan Huish. 17.Ben Stephens. 18.Curtis Hicks. 19.Garrick Legge. 20.Sion Parry. 21.Tom Rowlands. 22.Diggy Bird. 23.Lloyd Rowlands.