Rugby Union: Ponty rest Williams for visit of Neath

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The Independent Online
PONTYPRIDD HAVE delayed naming their side for today's Welsh Premier Division clash against Neath at Sardis Road because of a number of injury problems.

But the Wales flanker, Martyn Williams, is definitely out of the reckoning after suffering an ankle injury during last Saturday's international against Argentina.

Williams has had a scan that showed slight ligament damage and Pontypridd have decided to rest him in the hope that he will be fit to face the league leaders, Llanelli, at Stradey Park next week.

Neath have their own injury worries with their scrum-half and captain Patrick Horgan (ankle) and flanker Brett Sinkinson (fractured cheek-bone) ruled out. Shane Williams takes over from Horgan while Dale Jones comes into the back row.

Llanelli, who top the table by two points, are also waiting until just before kick-off before announcing their side to travel to Aberavon who are bottom of the pack with only one point to show for their efforts.

The Scarlets intend to give the Wales No 8, Scott Quinnell, as much time as possible to recover from a groin strain.

Aberavon have included the former Great Britain rugby league international, Garry Schofield, in the centre as they seek to end a run of six straight defeats.

Ebbw Vale have named three of their transfer-listed players in the team to face Caerphilly - and it would have been four if outside-half Byron Hayward had not been sidelined with a knee problem.

Wing Lennie Woodard, centre John Funnell and scrum-half David Llewellyn take their places in the line-up, and Jason Strange comes in for Hayward against the only Welsh club to qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Shield.

Bridgend will be without scrum-half Steve Wake for the visit of Newport as Cardiff have recalled him from his loan period because of a knee injury suffered by Robert Howley.

Howley is to have a minor operation that will put him out of action for about three weeks and Cardiff are unlikely to release Wake again until the Wales captain is fully fit.

Wake is replaced by teenager Andrew Jenkins while Newport introduce another Great Britain rugby league player in Jason Critchley. The Black and Ambers have also called up the Canadian centre, Kyle Nichols, who has recovered from back trouble.