Stiff challenge for Keys in Foster's 7s

CROSS Keys will once again attempt to topple champions Pontypridd when they lock horns in the opening round of the Foster's National 7s, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Pandy Park outfit were beaten by Ponty in the finals of both the Swalec Cup and Principality Premiership last season.

And Greg Woods' team have been drawn against the men from Sardis Road in the first round of the sevens competition at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday, August 24.

Ebbw Vale clash with Cardiff Met, Newport take on Aberavon and Bedwas tussle with the Welsh Students.

All 16 clubs will play at least two games in the competition with the round one losers entering the plate competition, which was won by Bedwas last year.

Pontypridd lifted the trophy and will be hot favourites to do so again given the amount of Wales Sevens players that they have in their ranks.

Coaches will be faced by a dilemma when selecting their sides because there will be crucial British and Irish Cup qualifying games the following weekend with Cross Keys hosting Ebbw Vale and Newport heading to Bedwas.

First round fixtures: Pontypridd v Cross Keys, Cardiff Met v Ebbw Vale, Bridgend v Swansea, Llanelli v RGC 1404; Aberavon v Newport, Welsh Students v Bedwas, Neath v Carmarthen Quins, Cardiff v Llandovery

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