Friday, 20 November 2009

Ponty champing at the bit

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue (and black!)"

An age old rivalry of Welsh rugby will be reincarnated in a new format as Pontypridd take on the Blue & Blacks of Cardiff in the inaugural pool match of the British & Irish Cup this evening. (KO 7.15pm)

The match will be played at the Arms Park - with Ponty having to borrow their opponents’ home ground. The new cup tournament offers a way forward for the semi professional club game in Wales, but can thrive on some of the old tribal rivalries in doing so.

Despite the disruption of bad weather and postponed games, along with the switch of venues, the Ponty squad have trained well this week and according to reports from within the camp, are champing at the bit for some competitive action.

Centre Gavin Dacey failed a late fitness test on his damaged shoulder, and joins flanker Kristian Dacey (shoulder), wing Owen Williams (jaw) and scrum half Gavin Morris (knee) on the sick list. Unavailable through regional commitments are props Sam Hobbs (Blues) and Pat Palmer (Dragons).

Kristian Baller continues on the wing, with Adam Thomas slotting in at outside centre. Outside half Dai Flanagan and lock Chris Dicomidis both return from a stint with the senior Blues squad to claim their places in the Ponty starting line-up, likewise hooker Rhys Williams on the bench.

Pontypridd: 15. Matthew Nuthall. 14.Kristian Baller. 13.Adam Thomas. 12.Dafydd Lockyer. 11.Chris Clayton. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Rhys Downes; 1.Stuart Williams. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Ryan Savage. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Rhys Lloyd. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Nathan Strong – cpt.

Replacements: Dean Gunter; Aaron Bramwell; Lewis Williams; Rhys Williams; Lewis Smout; Grant Harrington; Darren Waters


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