Category: Supporters Club News


Full back Ed Howley picked up the prestigious Neath Supporters Player of the Year award for 2016/17.

At a sparkling end-of-season ceremony held in a packed Hospitality Suite at The Gnoll Clubhouse, the promising Neath No.15 was voted the club’s outstanding player for his exciting performances during a season which saw him accumulate 309 points including 18 tries for the Welsh All Blacks.


18 year old flanker Charlie Davies took the Best Young Player Award after making huge strides during his first season of senior rugby.

While, at the other end of the scale, that hugely influential centre –and occasional outside-half ! Gavin Evans collected the Best Newcomer award.




Hooker Aled Morris who frequently turned out at flanker during the season was voted Clubman of the Year.

Scrum-half Chris Morgans was presented with his club cap for passing 100 appearances.

A special award was made to centre Keiran Williams who captained the Wales Under-20’s for whom he enjoyed an outstanding personal campaign in the Six Nations. Unfortunately, Keiran is injured and has to sit out this summer’s Under-20’s World Cup although team-mates Reuben Morgan-Williams and Aled Ward will be keeping the Neath flag flying in Georgia.

Flanker Alun Jones received a Neath jersey after being forced to retire from the Game following the leg injury he suffered in the opening home game of the season against RGC in September and fellow back-row forward Leon Ward received the “Magic Moment” award.

Neath’s annual awards night incorporates the Supporters’ Club “Hall of Fame” too and Neath secretary Mike Price recalled the achievements of the latest five Neath RFC greats to be so honoured. Roy John, Glen Ball, Dai Parker, Elgan Rees and Phil Pugh were voted by supporters to be the latest inductees to the “Hall of Fame” – Roy and Glen’s daughters collected the awards on their behalf while Dai, Elgan and Phil shared many nostalgic memories of their days in the All Blacks shirt.

In keeping with the traditions of this now annual event, the “past” made the presentations to the “present” and vice-versa – awards being made by Dai Morris, Glyn Shaw, Mike Thomas, Martyn Morris, Paul Williams and Elgan Rees and by Ed Howley, Gavin Evans, Chris Morgans, Rhys Jones and captain Jordan Collier.


At the end of another superb annual event which continues to go from strength to strength, Supporters’ Club chairman Len Kowalski commented, “Our awards night is rather unique bringing together as it does the heroes of the past with those of the present. It highlights the great traditions of Neath RFC and cements the bond between players and supporters which has long existed at the Neath Club.”

The “Hall of Fame” is now well-established and the full list of inductees to date is :-



Still Time to Get Your Hall of Fame Tickets

We are now just over three weeks away from our Hall of Fame night on 26th May. Tickets for this annual celebration event are selling well but we do still have a few left.

These tickets will be on sale from the supporters club table in the clubhouse at Friday’s game against Bridgend – one of your last chances to secure tickets before the big night. Tickets cost just £7.50 for supporters club members and £11 for non-members.

The ever-popular event will see Neath greats Elgan Rees, Roy John, Glen Ball, Dai Parker and Phil Pugh inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The evening will also feature the annual awards for the current squad. One such award will be the Supporters Player of the Year.

Voting for this year’s award is now open and you can vote by visiting the supporters club table in the clubhouse at Friday’s game or by e-mailing – ensure you include your name and your supporters club membership number. Voting is only open to supporters club members.

Remember that all the profit we make from the evening goes back into helping the squad prepare for the 2017/18 through the provision of kit and equipment.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by R&SD Risk Management.

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees Revealed

Following months of nominations and careful deliberations, the five inductees into the 2017 Hall of Fame have been chosen.

The five Neath greats will be inducted into the hall at a special celebration evening on Friday 26th May

The chosen five are (in no particular order):

Elgan Rees
Stalwart wing Elgan Rees was a fixture in the Neath team throughout the late 1970s and 1980s. He toured twice with the British and Irish Lions, winning his first Lions cap before he’d played for Wales. He eventually went on to win 13 caps for Wales, scoring six tries.

Phil Pugh
Blindside flanker Phil Pugh is latest player from our golden era. A hard tackling and abrasive player, one of his finest games in the Neath shirt came in that memorable game against New Zealand. His display that day led him to winning his first (and, amazingly, only) cap against the tourists a few weeks later.

Roy John
Second row forward Roy John’s was renowned for his prowess in the lineout.
This led to him making his debut for Wales in 1950 and going on to win 19 caps for his country. He toured Australia and New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in 1950, becoming, alongside Rees Stephens, the first Neath players to play for the Lions.

Dai Parker
With an incredible 511 appearances, Dai Parker has played for Neath more times than any other player. The diminutive outside half was a key figure in the Neath side between 1965 and 1974, captaining the club during his final season. One of his finest moments came when he scored the winning try in the inaugural WRU cup final in 1972 cup.

Glen Ball
Glen Ball was a distinguished centre who played for Neath during the 1970s, playing in the cup final triumph of 1972. He was also a key figure in the coaching team alongside Ron Waldron and Brian Thomas, during the club’s golden era of the late eighties and early nineties. Although he never played for Wales in a capped international, he did play against Argentina in 1968, for which he was belatedly awarded a President’s cap.

These five players will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday 26th May, where they will be awarded with their commemorative caps.

Tickets for the evening will be on sale at Neath’s remaining home games this season (Cross Keys, 8th April & Bargoed, 15th April).

Tickets cost £7.50 for supporters club members and £11 for non-members.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by R&SD Risk Management

Neath Rugby Supporters Club Launch Search for Five More Greats to join Hall of Fame

Neath Rugby Supporters Club have launched the search for five more greats to join their illustrious Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honour some of Neath RFC’s greatest ever players. Amongst the players to have been admitted in the past are legendary figures such as Brian Thomas, Brian Williams and Dai Morris, current Head Coach Gareth Llewellyn, club stalwart Steve Powell and Wales’ leading try scorer Shane Williams.

Now, the supporters club is on the lookout for more of the club’s all time greats to join them as they seek to recognise and honour individuals synonymous with Neath RFC – the legendary figures who have shown exceptional commitment and contribution to the club.

Over the next few weeks the supporters club will be asking supporters to nominate any individual who they feel will be worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame. They can be a player, a coach, an administrator or volunteer. Basically, any person who has shown a remarkable loyalty and commitment to Wales’ oldest rugby club.

There’ll be no shortage of candidates spread across the decades. The likes of Grahame Hadgson, Elgan Rees, Adam Jones or maybe Barrie Williams are all likely to feature in people’s thinking, but anyone who has made an outstanding contribution to Neath RFC can be nominated.

How to nominate
Supporters can make their nomination in a number of ways:
On Twitter – tweet us @neathsupporters #NeathHoF
On Facebook – Visit us on Facebook and leave a comment on the Hall of Fame thread
E-mail – Send your nomination to
In person – Visit our table in the clubhouse on match days and fill in the nomination form.

The deadline for nominations is Saturday 18th March and fans can nominate as many individuals as they like. The final inductees will then be chosen by a panel of Supporters Club members and then be formally inducted at the Hall of Fame celebration evening at the end of the season (date to be confirmed).

So get your thinking caps on and let us know who you would like to see in the 2017 Hall of Fame.

Coaches Q&A Evening / Neath Rugby Squad Update

With the new season almost upon us, fans of Neath RFC are being invited to a special preview evening on Tuesday 30th August.

Work is in progress with regards to Neath Rugby Website SQUAD PAGE – Player Profiles.
You can view the details on on the  New Squad as follows (link also on main menu of website)

The evening will start with the players going through the paces in one of their final pre-season training sessions of the summer.

Then, at 8:30pm in the clubhouse, coaches Gareth Llewellyn and Paul Williams as well as Team Manager Martyn Morris will give supporters the latest news on the squad, as well as giving their thoughts on the challenges ahead in the new season. Fans will also have the opportunity to quiz the panel on the coming campaign.

Entry is free and open to everyone. There will be an opportunity to join the supporters club on the evening, in readiness for the coming campaign.

During the past year, the Supporters Club supported Neath RFC with donations of kit, equipment and materials amounting to almost £5000. This was only possible due to the extraordinary backing of supporters that we received. Naturally the more members we have, the greater is our ability is so support the team, so please make sure you sign up for the 2016/17 season. Membership costs only £10 for the season and really does go a long way to supporting your team.


Neath Rugby Supporters Club will again be supporting the parent club this summer by providing £3,000 towards dressing-room improvements and pitch maintenance.

Since being re-formed three years ago, the Supporters Club have assisted with various donations including nutritional supplements, kit for players, coaches and ball boys as well as training equipment and the refurbishment of the medical room at the Gnoll. The money for these projects has been raised through subscriptions, raffles and special functions which have proved especially popular.

Neath secretary Mike Price said, “Once again, we thank the Supporters Club for their generous support which will help us to retain The Gnoll as one of the leading venues in the Premiership. The Gnoll is already recognised as one of the best – if not the best – all-grass pitches in a division which needs top playing surfaces if we are to continue to produce players for Wales.

“Neath Rugby Supporters Club is among the oldest in Wales. Informal bodies existed before the First World War before the Supporters Club was properly constituted in 1926 and, throughout its history, has assisted with many of the material assets around the ground and we are very grateful for the continued backing and support we receive.”

The Supporters Club is set to continue its fundraising activities throughout the 2016/17 season and we would urge all supporters who have not already done so, to consider joining. The more members they have, the more money they will be able to raise, which in turn benefits the club.

Past and Present Players Honoured at Hall of Fame Night

hall-of-fame-2016-1Once again this year, the Neath Rugby Supporters Club’s annual Hall of Fame night was a complete sell out with fans, current squad members and past greats gathering for a memorable evening celebrating the history of Neath RFC.

The evening was compared by Neath historian (and budding stand up comedian) Mike Price.

The first presentations of the night were to loyal servants Alec Jenkins and Leon Ward, who played their 100th games for the club during the course of the season. They were presented with their club caps by ex Neath outside half, Dai Parker.

Next, promising young centre Kieran Williams was presented with a special commemorative photo to mark his first cap for the Grand Slam winning Wales U20 side. Legendary Neath flanker Dai Morris did the honours.

The evening then moved on to the current squad’s annual awards. The recipients were prop Geraint James (Best Newcomer), outside half/centre Iwan Evans (Best Young Player) and flanker Leon Ward (Clubman of the Year).

The next presentation was made to stalwart Neath, Nicky Downs. Having played over 200 games for the club, the popular prop recently announced his retirement and was presented with some framed prints to commemorate his time with the club.

The first half of the night concluded with the awarding of the Neath Rugby Supporters Club’s Player of the Year award, as voted for by members of the supporters club. In what was turning out to be a good night for him, Leon Ward was announced as the winner.

hall-of-fame-2016-2The night then moved on to the Hall of Fame presentations with legendary prop Courtenay Meredith. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be with us on the night, so it was left to Dai Parker to collect the award on his behalf.

Glyn Shaw was next to receive his cap before regaling the audience with stories of past deeds before offering inspiring words of encouragement to the current squad.

Next was the third prop of the evening, Jeremy Pugh to receive his award. He had the room howling with laughter with tales of club tours to America.

Allan Bateman then received his Hall of Fame cap before speaking eloquently about his time at the Gnoll, including reminiscing about that break against New Zealand.

Finally it was full back Paul Thorburn who received his cap, and once again entertained the crowd with stories of old.

One thing that clearly came across from each of the inductees, is the passion they have for the club, and even now, years after retiring, the pride they have in saying that they played for Neath still exists.

It only remains for us to thank those who helped make the evening a success, including Paula for her sterling work in selling the raffle tickets, Simon for manning the doors and Mike for comparing the evening.

We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and look forward to arranging next year’s event.

Time Running Out to Secure Hall of Fame Tickets

With just a little over a month to go and with just two home games remaining this
season, fans are being urged to buy their Hall of Fame night tickets as soon as

The event which takes place on Friday May 20th will see Paul Thorburn, Allan
Bateman, Glyn Shaw, Jeremy Pugh, and Courtenay Meredith inducted into the Hall of

A spokesman for Neath Rugby Supporters Club said “The Hall of Fame night is always
eagerly anticipated by Neath rugby fans and in just a few years has become a firmly
established end-of-season event”.

Previous years Hall of Fame nights have proven to be very popular and have sold out.
The spokesman added “Once again this year, tickets for the evening have been
selling extremely well.  We would strongly urge anyone who wants a ticket to buy one
as soon as possible”.

Fans wishing to secure their places at the event can buy tickets from the Neath
Rugby Supporters Club at this season’s remaining home games, against Llanelli (16th
April) and Cross Keys (23rd April).

For more information e-mail or call 07943 567994.
Tickets cost just £5 for supporters club members and £8 for non-members.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by R&SD Risk Management

Vote for Neath Rugby Supporters Club’s Player of the Year

Neath Rugby Supporters Club are inviting members to vote for their Player of the Year.

supporters-club-player-award-2014-5-reducedBetween now and the end of the season, members can cast their vote and have their say on who they think deserves to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Alex Humphrey.

Despite a difficult season in which wins have been scarce, there can be no doubt the players have given it everything. So, now we want to know who you think the standout performer was – who gave it their all, week in, week out? Who impressed you the most?

Members who wish to vote can visit the supporters club table in the clubhouse at either of the two remaining home games this season (16th & 23rd April). You can also email your selection to – ensure you include your name and your supporters club membership number.

The winner will be announced in the Hall of Fame night on Friday 20th May.

So getting thinking, and make sure you vote for your favourite player.

Please note:
Voting is only open to Neath Rugby Supporters Club members.
One vote per member.
Closing date for voting – Friday 6th May

Hall of Fame on Friday 20th May

Who’s in? – 2016 Hall of Fame inductees revealed
Following months of nominations and careful deliberations, the five inductees into the 2016 Neath Rugby Supporters Club have been chosen.

The five Neath greats will be inducted into the hall at a special celebration evening on Friday 20th May.

The chosen five are (in no particular order):

Paul Thorburn
Full back Paul Thorburn was an integral part of the Neath team during the club’s golden era. A strong runner and world-class goal kicker, Throburn played in three consecutive cup finals and was a member of two league winning squads.

He won 37 caps for Wales, scoring a then record 304 points. He landed a number of memorable kicks for Wales, not least a last minute conversion to secure third place in the inagural World Cup and the monster 64 metre penalty against Scotland in 1986 – still the world’s longest penalty goal.

Allan Bateman
Allan Bateman joined Neath in 1989 and formed a potent midfield partnership with Colin Laity. Famed for his clamp-like tackling and silky skills, Bateman played in the 1989 and 1990 cup winning teams. He ‘went north’ in 1990 before retuning to Rugby Union in 1996 and returned to the Gnoll in 2001.

He won 35 caps for Wales and one for the Lions.

Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh was an important member of the the Neath team during the golden era of the 1980/90s. The popular tight head prop played in cup and league winning teams and featured in the memorable 1989 match against New Zealand. He made his debut for Wales against USA in 1987, but surprisingly only won three caps. Jeremy joins front row colleagues Brian Williams and Kevin Phillips in the NRSC Hall of Fame.

Glyn Shaw
Prop forward Glyn Shaw was a mainstay of the Neath pack during the 1970s. Equally at home on both the loose head and tight head of the scrum, Shaw went on to win 12 caps for Wales between 1972 and 1977. He later went to Rugby League, playing for Widnes and Wigan and appearing in several Challenge Cup finals.

Courtenay Meredith
Legendary prop forward Courtenay Meredith was the cornerstone of the formidable Neath pack of the 1950s. His prowess was duly recognised with 14 caps for Wales. He was called up for the 1955 Lions tour to South Africa, making 14 appearances, including four test matches. He formed an all Welsh front row alongside Billy Williams and Bryn Meredith – a feat that wasn’t repeated until 2009.

These five players will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday 20th May, where they will be awarded with their commemorative caps.

Tickets for the evening will be on sale at Neath’s remaining home games this season. Tickets cost £5 for supporters club members and £8 for non-members.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by R&SD Risk Management.