Meanwhile, Gloucester will hope they have struck a major psychological blow over Sale Sharks ahead of their Shield last four clash at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, on 28 April, the club second in the English Premiership beating third placed Sale 42-14 at Kingsholm on Saturday (9 March).
And the strength of the Shield is suitably reflected in that the three English semi-finalists occupy places in the top four of the Premiership with only Heineken Cup champions Leicester ahead of them. For their part, Pontypridd are well placed in the Welsh/Scottish League to qualify for the 2002/03 Heineken Cup.
Parker Pen Shield 2002 Semi-Finals.
(Kick-offs LOCAL time).Saturday 27 April. London Irish v Pontypridd, (S4C) 5.30pm The Kassam Stadium, Oxford.
Sunday 28 April.Gloucester v Sale Sharks, 2.00 pm Franklin's Gardens, Northampton