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Merthyr v Pontypridd – Match Preview

On Saturday 3rd February Pontypridd head to The Wern to play Merthyr, the Indigo Group Premiership match kicks off at the earlier than usual time of 12:30pm.

Ponty will be hoping to make it third time lucky at The Wern having lost both previous encounters away at our valley rivals’ ground since rugby restarted in the ‘post-Covid pandemic era.’ The Valley Commandos’ last win at Merthyr came on Saturday 7th March 2020 by 36 points to 27.

Pontypridd currently occupy 5th place in the Premiership table, three places and seven points ahead of our hosts although the Ironmen do have three games in hand as we head into Saturday’s match.


Pontypridd have made four personnel changes to the XV that beat Pontypool last Saturday, two each in both the forwards and the backs and a further two new faces have come onto the bench.

In the pack Ben Stephens returns to start at loosehead prop and Macauley Cook is drafted straight back in and captain’s the team from the second row.

Behind the scrum Joel Raikes starts at scrum half and there’s a Ponty debut for winger Cavan Davies. Cavan is another Coleg y Cymoedd alumnus and joins on permit from Ystrad Rhondda.

On the bench prop Kian Mattravers returns to the matchday squad whilst there’s another potential Club debut for hooker Dylan Kelly who is on permit from Neath Athletic and is currently studying at USW.

Pontypridd RFC would like to place on record our thanks to both Ystrad Rhondda and Neath Athletic for giving Cavan and Dylan permission to play for the Club against Merthyr.

Unavailable for Saturday’s match due to various reasons are Niko Matawalu, Dale Stuckey, Liam Lloyd, Ben Burnell, Curtis Greenslade, McCauley Rowley, Chris Dicomidis, Tom Devine and Gavin Parry.

We’d like to reserve a special mention for Gavin Parry. Gavin’s unavailability is because he has been called up to the Scotland U20 squad for their Six Nations campaign – congratulations and all the best Gav from everyone at Pontypridd RFC.

The Pontypridd team selected to play Merthyr is as follows:

15. Josh Phillips. 14. Tom Edwards. 13. Garyn Smith. 12. Ryan Wilkins. 11. Cavan Davies. 10. Joseph Scrivens. 9. Joel Raikes.

1. Ben Stephens. 2. Rob Jones. 3. Tom Harper. 4. Mitch Barnard. 5. Macauley Cook (c). 6. Cally James. 7. Sion Parry. 8. Aled Ward.

Subs: 16. Dylan Kelly. 17. Kian Mattravers. 18. Morgan Bosanko. 19. Kristian Parker. 20. Cai James. 21. Joe Miles. 22. Harvey Nash. 23. Kyan Lewis.

Good luck on Saturday lads!


The details for your sat-navs is – The Wern, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 1AF.