South Wales Scorpions v Hunslet Hawks at Blackwood RFC on Sunday (kick-off 2pm) is the culmination of an exciting day of Rugby League at their Glan-yr-Afon Park ground.
The “on the road” Kingstone Press Championship 1 game is the first professional Rugby League game to be played in town and the biggest since 2006 when current Scorpions player Chris Vitalini famously faced off against a young Israel Folau when Wales took on Australia at under 19 level.
The day also includes the annual Scott McCrorie Nines tournament involving eight sides, that starts at 10am with the final at 1.30pm.
South Wales Scorpions coach Mike Grady hopes to bring in at least two more loan players from North Wales Crusaders before Sunday’s match.
Scorpions already have three-quarter Greg Wilde from the Crusaders, with five first team players injured.
Grady said: “We will hopefully have another two or three Crusaders players confirmed by weekend.
“Hunslet are on a good run and have plenty of experience in their side. It’s another tough one for us but we need to keep building.”
Shaun Owens, Dan Parry, Alex Jones, Owain Davies and Rhys Fitzgerald are all sidelined for the Scorpions, while Alan Pope has this week left the club due to work commitments.
But Martin Luckwell has returned from a spell in rugby union, helping to lead Merthyr RFC to win the SWALEC Plate last Sunday, and could come into contention.
Hunslet coach Barry Eaton is familiar with several members of the Scorpions squad.
He said: “I know a fair bit about them from coaching the Wales under-18s side just over a year ago.
“They have some very talented youngsters, and from the outside looking in, maybe they’ve just lacked that bit of experience to help them win games.
“We will be taking it very, very seriously. We have a big month coming up and there are some big challenges ahead for everybody.”
Prop Michael Haley is set to return from a hamstring injury and half-back Thomas Coyle from a pectoral problem.
Brother James Coyle also has a chance of returning, meaning that Eaton could rotate his half-back options over the next couple of weeks.
In-form centre Matt Cook will miss out however after sustaining a hamstring injury in training.
The Scott McCrorie Nines tournament features two sides from Valley Cougars and one each from Aber Valley Wolves, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Cardiff Demons, Cardiff Spartans, Newport Titans and Torfaen Tigers.
Tickets for the day are priced £8 for adults, £6 concessions, £5 for students and £1 for juniors are available by going to www.scorpionsrl.com.