16 May, 17:08
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"Rob is desperate to play in this game, and desperate to win," the former Ireland national coach said. "It's an important game for Rob which is an extra incentive for us. He's a mate, and we certainly don't want to let him down on the day."
Gatland travelled to Wales last week to watch Pontypridd play Cardiff, but didn't get a "great impression" of the Valleys side.
"Every time the referee blew his whistle, they went another man down, and it's hard to get a read on a team when it's 14 on 13," said Gatland.
"I was impressed with their line-out and scrummaging and they've got good ball retention, so they'll be a tough proposition for us. They certainly had a good year last season and they're doing well again this year.
"Also, I think they will like having the underdog tag - they're quite a physical team, but then so are we. It will be interesting to see who is at fly-half, Neil Jenkins or Ceri Sweeney, and Sonny Parker is back, so we'll have to watch him.
"Their winger Gareth Wyatt looks sharp, Rob Sidoli played well for Wales in the second row and their young No 8 Michael Owen impressed me against Cardiff.
"We won't be underestimating Pontypridd - if we do that, we'll come unstuck.
"It's good to have the England boys back, and it gives us a full-strength squad. We're pretty much injury-free - we've been lucky this season. It would have been nice to play Pontypridd away first, but we had Stade Francais at home first and were able to take a few points' start to Paris, so we'll be aiming for the same."