The 27-year-old tight head
(pictured right, scoring a try), who was the star of pre-season wins over Ulster and Connacht, produced another fine display against Sale in Saturday's Premiership opener.
The loose-head's whole body is on show, while it's far easier for a tight head
to hide his angle.
But his opportunities at the Scarlets and with Wales have become increasingly limited by the emergence of Samson Lee, who has established himself as national coach Warren Gatland's first-choice tight head
Both sides had new coaching teams and many new faces in their ranks and it quickly became obvious that it would be the Vale forward strength against the pace and skill of the Bridgend backs After 20 minutes, Bridgend tight head
prop Nicky Boyce was yellow carded after a series of close range scrums and Ebbw Vale took full advantage as their scrum got them a penalty try which, under the new experimental scoring system, was automatically worth eight points.
Stour's cause was not helped, either, by their ongoing injury crisis which saw them take to the field without a recognised tight head
prop or open side flanker.
We wish him all the best but it's a great opportunity for Rupert, who has been the first-choice tight head
for Gloucester this season and also involved in the Saxons during the Six Nations.
In order to do well at tight head
you've got to spend a lot of time there and to be fair to Tom, he hasn't had that because John Afoa has been playing really well and Declan Fitzpatrick has stepped up to the mark," remarked Ross.
The 28-year-old tight head
prop remembers his spell at LSH with great affection particularly the help and support given him by the late Alan Walker and Ray French.
Stourbridge are forced to reshuffle their pack through the absence of tight head
props Chris Rowlands and Jack Gilding.
Mark Devine takes over from McLoughlin at tight head
and there is a return for Matt Williams (wing).
He has big shoes to fill with Micky Ward and Davey Wilson, who are both excellent players, at tight head
, so it just adds even more competition which can only be good for the club and all the players involved.
Simon Easterby and Dafydd Jones resume on the flank, and John Davies is at tight head