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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Retail setback hits Sardis Road
Pontypridd's Sardis Road
Pontypridd RFC no longer need a stadium the size of Sardis Road
An application to develop a food retail store on the site of Pontypridd RFC's Sardis Road ground has been turned down by the Welsh Assembly.

Owners Ponty Rugby Limited had hoped to sell the dilapidated ground to property developers Morbaine Limited.

The board of directors say they will remain in talks with all parties for the Sardis Road site and for a location for a new stadium for Pontypridd RFC.

Sardis Road, or the "House of Pain", has been home to the club since 1974.

A new 3,000-seater stadium, funded from the sale of the prime site near the town centre, is being mooted.

The club's earliest games were played at Taff Vale Park in Treforest, before they moved to the People's Park alongside the Rhondda River, and then the new stadium in September 1974.

Many international players, including world record Test points scorer Neil Jenkins, the former Wales fly-half, learned their rugby playing at Sardis Road.

But Pontypridd's success as a club side counted for little as financial problems plagued them when Wales moved towards regional rugby.

The Celtic Warriors regional side was formed from the Pontypridd and Bridgend clubs.

But Ponty's financial problems - the club went into voluntary administration in 2003 - and differences of opinion between the two controlling halves, saw Ponty relinquish their regional stake.

The Warriors themselves lasted just over a year more as the team was disbanded and the players farmed out to the four other remaining regional sides.

Pontypridd remain competitive in the semi-professional Welsh Premiership, but no longer need a stadium with the capacity of Sardis Road.

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