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Ponty’s ‘Captain Fantastic’ Lockyer to carry on

Ponty’s ‘Captain Fantastic’ Lockyer to carry on

Dafydd Lockyer will make it a ‘Magnificent Seven’ seasons in charge at Sardis Road after agreeing to continue as the Pontypridd captain next season.

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The 35-year-old centre has made almost 400 appearances for Ponty in two incredible spells and isn’t ready to hang up his boots just yet. The new Indigo Group Premiership season can’t start soon enough for him.

“Daf is a real talisman for our club. He has been very loyal to the cause for so many years and I have built up a special relationship with him since first bringing him to Ponty back in 2003,” said director of rugby, Justin Burnell.

“He leads by example both on and off the field, he’s a big character around the changing room, the ideal personality to have around. More than that, he hit some of the best form of his career last season.

“He only missed a couple of games, stayed injury free and showed great commitment and enthusiasm. The fact that he is staying with us means he can influence the younger players of potential around him, which is a sign of good things to come for the club.”

Also looking forward to another campaign is former Wales U20 and Sevens cap Rhys Shellard. An injury in the game at Swansea in mid-December last year brought his season to a premature finish.

That was a real blow in his testimonial year, but he intends to make up for lost time when rugby resumes.

“It wasn’t the best of seasons for me in hindsight. Up to the injury things had gone well enough and I was enjoying my rugby,” said Shellard.

“The testimonial year was successful as far as it went, with a golf day and a Q&A session at Sardis Road. I had another social event planned in early April, and a celebration end-of-season match, but they went down the pan with the lockdown.”

He also had to put on hold his wedding this month to his fiancee, Carly. That is being re-scheduled, as have any thoughts of retirement.

“The extended break has given me time to recover and I’m now looking forward to next season,” he added.

“I won’t go as far as to say that I’m looking forward to the training schedule, I’m getting a bit too old for that, but getting the squad back together and playing again is an exciting prospect.

“I hope to stay injury free this time and be able to contribute to Ponty’s challenge for honours. Hopefully, with the help of the club, I can also catch up on some of my testimonial events and bring that to a conclusion.”

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