Category: Neath Rugby News


WRU Specsavers National Championship

The WRU have announced September fixtures as per Link below:

Neath travel to Trebanos for the opening round of fixtures in The Championship, commencing  on 7th September.

SEPTEMBER FIXTURES (Subject to change):

Bedwas v Cross Keys
Cardiff Met v Bargoed
Maesteg Quins v Glamorgan Wands
Pontypool v Beddau
Tata Steel v Narberth
Trebanos v Neath
Ystrad Rhondda v Ystalyfera

Specsavers National Cup Round 1
Bargoed v Maesteg Quins
Beddau v Bedwas
Cross Keys v Cardiff Met
Glamorgan Wands v Tata Steel
Narberth v Trebanos
Neath v Ystrad Rhondda
Ystalyfera v Pontypool

Bedwas v Ystalyfera
Cardiff Met v Beddau
Glamorgan Wands v Bargoed
Maesteg Quins v Cross Keys
Pontypool v Neath
Tata Steel v Trebanos
Ystrad Rhondda v Narberth

Full Fixture details available here (subject to change):



Neath have signed young centre BEN ATKINS from Seven Sisters.

Ben first played for Neath straight out of youth rugby but then transferred to Llanelli.

The Dulais Valley/Neath College product now returns with 20 Premiership games under his belt.


Neath have made another signing in prop, IFAN JAMES, the young Newcastle Emlyn forward, who showed distinct promise in late season for the Blacks.

He impressed onlookers with his zest for hard work even when the going got tough and has been rewarded by coach Pat Horgan bringing him on board.


Neath supporters will be pleased to hear that prop Ben Uphill is making good progress in his recovery from knee and shoulder surgery undertaken at the end of the season.

Ben went under the knife twice but both operations were successful and he will play a part in pre-season training ahead of a belated start in September.

Having the strong scrummaging Nantyffyllon product around is good news for Neath and Ben is relishing returning for the Blacks – “Maybe there will be some extra scrums in the Championship,” he grinned.

Photo courtesy of Len Kowalski of @NeathTog


Congratulations to young Neath RFC hooker Garin Lloyd on earning his Wales Under-20’s cap against Fiji.

Garin,developed via Dulais Valley Youth and Neath College and has already made 20 appearances for Neath RFC – and it was good to see the Banwen RFC flag proudly on display in Argentina !

Garin is already a firm favourite with the knowledgeable Gnoll supporters who are delighted by his achievement.

Garin has had to bide his time as another hooker Dewi Lake is captain of the Under-20’s – Dewi, of course, has played for Neath too along with the earlier capped Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler and Max Llewellyn.

Next up for the Under-20’s are the other All Blacks – from New Zealand.

Photo courtesy of Len Kowalski of @NeathTog


Neath RFC are looking for a supporter with a spare room who may be able to host/rent to a potential new player who is moving to the area.

Ideally, the location would be close to The Gnoll and the period would cover July to the end of the season,

If you can help, please reply to as soon as possible.


Former Wales outside-half Matthew Jones is returning to Neath in a player-coach role.

The Maesteg-born pivot first played for Neath as a teenager when the Club was a professional entity, becoming the only club side to figure in a Celtic Cup final in 2002/03.

When the Game in Wales went regional, Matthew became Neath’s regular No.10 and in season 2003/04 he scored 344 points as the Blacks won the Welsh Cup for the fourth time and finished second to Newport in the newly-founded Premiership.

The following season, he was part of the Wales Under-21’s side which memorably clinched the Grand Slam by beating Ireland at The Gnoll. Matthew scored 17 points and 52 points in the tournament.

That summer, he was capped for Wales in a 60-3 victory in Canada and then settled into the Ospreys before embarking upon a much travelled career which took him to Moseley, London Welsh, Worcester, Bristol, Coventry as well as the Dragons and Pontypool.

In the last three seasons he has been a key component in Pontypool’s domination of the Championship as the Gwent club rattled off three successive titles but he missed this year’s promotion play-off against Llanelli due to a knee operation.

That is likely to cause him to miss the start of the season but he is looking forward to commencing his coaching duties as part of Patrick Horgan’s team with Andrew Howell.

Gwent College lecturer Matthew said, “I would like to thank everyone at Pontypool for the opportunities over the last three wonderful years. Neath, my first senior club, is more convenient for me in terms of travel but both clubs are dear to my heart.

“They are both big clubs with proud pasts and hopefully proud futures to come. I am really looking forward to developing my coaching alongside my old half-back partner Pat who is recognised as one of the most knowledgeable around.

“I can’t wait to get to work with what will be a new-look Neath back division – this is both a challenge and a fantastic opportunity.

“Having experienced men like Aaron Bramwell and Nicky Griffiths around a group of keen and ambitious youngsters will be a big help and I am very excited to be part of Neath’s re-build.

“We need to quickly make short-term improvements as, from my time at Pontypool, I know how difficult the Championship will be. Neath have a fantastic following of genuine rugby people who are realistic and we have high expectations.”

Archive Photos (featured above) – Courtesy of Mike Greenslade Photography: (March 2006: Neath v WRU Presidents XV)