NEATH 33 points LONDON WELSH 5 points

Neath came out on top when these time-honoured rivals resumed pleasantries in a pre-season warm-up (Saturday).

A good crowd were entertained throughout a keenly-fought game as the Blacks opened the season in great style.

Moving the ball speedily, the Welsh All Blacks capitalised on forward vigour to lead 19-nil at halftime through tries by No.8 Scott Malone, hooker Sion Crocker and winger Luke Griffiths who converted two.

In the second-half, Neath extended their lead with another Malone try which Dan Guarneri converted but the Exiles hit back with a deserved try by centre Ben Phillips before replacement back rower David Griggs scored Neath’s fifth, outside-half Guarneri converting.

(FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW)

BLACKS’ EXTRA GAME – RESOLVEN NEXT TUESDAY (20th August)


Neath will play an additional warm-up game against Resolven at The Gnoll next Tuesday (kick off 7.00pm).

The tie will be hot on the heels of their clash with London Welsh on Saturday (12 noon) and coach Patrick Horgan explained, “We have regularly had upwards of 30-40 players training with us over the summer and we need to see them all in action.”

“Tuesday’s team will differ greatly from Saturday’s so all players should get meaningful game-time to stake a claim for our squad heading into the season.”

TEAM NEWS: NEATH v LONDON WELSH (HOME): SATURDAY, AUGUST 17TH, 2019 – KICK OFF 12 NOON

Saturday is high noon for Neath who kick off the new season with an attractive home tie against London Welsh at The Gnoll on Saturday (kick off – midday).

Coaches Pat Horgan, Matthew Jones and Andrew Howell have named the side to take on the Exiles and it features many of those players who fought a backs to the wall mission last season when ownership woes derailed Neath’s season.

Two new wings figure in Luke Griffiths (Kenfig Hill) and South Wales Policeman Sion Summers who played for Newport last year. In the centre, there are welcome returns for Seven Sisters product Ben Atkins and Neath cricketer Matthew Pearce. The only newcomer in the pack will be at No.8 which is left vacant until the morning of the match.

Pat Horgan said, “We have had 30-40 players training regularly with us all summer and everyone has worked hard. We have another game against Resolven next Tuesday so we will have the opportunity to see most players in action over these two games.

“The boys are raring to go, itching for game action and it has been a question of holding some of them back a bit. Consolidation is the key but we hope we can challenge too as we need to get back to the high standards expected of Neath RFC.”

Neath v London Welsh (Home) 12 Noon
15 Aaron Bramwell; 14 Luke Griffiths, 13 Ben Atkins, 12 Matthew Pearce, 11 Sion Summers; 10 Jordan Rees, 9 Macauley Griffiths; 1 Ifan James, 2 Sion Crocker, 3 Liam Tobias; 4 Rhys Morgan, 5 Jon Barley; 6 Jacob Blackmore, 8 A.N. Other, 7 Jon Hill
Replacements TBC

EXTRA FIXTURE
** Neath have arranged an extra game for next Tuesday evening against Resolven at The Gnoll (kick off 7.00pm).

LONDON WELSH LINE-UP AS FOLLOWS:

NEATH’S ATTRACTIVE OPENER – LONDON WELSH ARE COMING !

It is a high noon kick off for Neath when they open the 2019/20 season with an attractive home clash against London Welsh at The Gnoll on Saturday.

The 12pm kick off will allow players and supporters to watch the Wales-England international afterwards but for Neath captain Aaron Bramwell there is no mistaking which is the important game on Saturday.

“Ours without a doubt”, he said, “After last season, we are raring to go with an exciting new squad who cannot wait to get into action.”

“London Welsh don’t often appear in South Wales these days and it should be a treat for genuine rugby supporters throughout the area.”


NEATH SQUAD PREPARING FOR SATURDAY’S MATCH 
(Photo courtesy of Len Kowalski of www.lensworkphotography.co.uk @NeathTog)

Bramwell was in the squad when Neath last played London Welsh in 2011 in the British & Irish Cup when the Blacks beat the then professional Exiles 14-7 through two tries by centre Stephen Thomas, both being converted by outside-half David Langdon.

The only other survivor in the All Blacks’ ranks is back rower Leon Ward who made his debut that night.

Things have changed a lot since then – for both clubs ! – but Neath versus London Welsh is one of those classical rugby occasions which demands attention.

London Welsh are fighting their way back up the English league ladder and last season won a second successive promotion from London Division 3 North West losing only once.

Their player-coach is former Neath and Ospreys prop Cai Griffiths who is looking forward to returning to The Gnoll and he could have another ex-Neath man in the front row with him in Joel Ringer who has moved to London from RGC.

It is expected that the Neath team will be announced after training on Thursday.

Match Details :-
NEATH v LONDON WELSH
Kick off – 12 Noon
Admission – Adults £5, Under-16’s FREE
Hospitality – Tel. 01639 643328

NEATH v LONDON WELSH – SOME ODDITIES

Neath RFC will open the 2019/20 season against London Welsh at The Gnoll on Saturday. (kick off 12 noon).

The two clubs have enjoyed each other’s company and here are some highlights and oddities :-

• In 1885, Neath medical student A.E. Kempthorne was nominated captain of the new London Welsh club.
• The first fixture between the clubs took place at Neath on Monday, December 22nd, 1890
• A layering of snow covered a rock hard pitch but the sides braved the conditions and the first match ended honours even and scoreless.
• In 1908, Australian international D.B. (Danny) Carroll turned out for Neath in the 15-3 win against London Welsh who fielded three tourists (McIntyre, Craig and Darby)
• A Neath man J. Milsom Rees became chairman of London Welsh and was appointed royal surgeon – he played centre for the Blacks when he was known as plain “Jack”.
• Eric Evans, Bill Perry and Arthur Hopkins scored tries when Neath won the first fixture after the Great War 9-4 on December 27th, 1919.
• And the first post-World War II match was won by Neath 9-3 – home tries by Ken Hardwick, Harold Parker and Rees Stephens.
• The 1953 match in London was refereed by one Denis Thatcher whose wife became the UK’s first woman Prime Minister in 1979.
• For many years, Neath hosted London Welsh on Christmas Day – the last of those games took place in 1965, London Welsh winning 6-3.
• In 1966, the game was played on Christmas Eve (a Saturday), Neath turning the tables to win 6-3.
• The sides last met on February 25th, 2011 when the Blacks beat the Exiles 14-7.
• Lyn Jones, Rowland Phillips and now Cai Griffiths have coached London Welsh.

Since that first meeting in 1890, Neath and London Welsh have enjoyed a healthy rivalry – may the entertainment continue on Saturday !

MP

Match Details :-
NEATH v LONDON WELSH
Kick off – 12 Noon
Admission – Adults £5, Under-16’s FREE
Hospitality – Tel. 01639 643328

SEASON TICKET NEWS (2019-20)

STANDARD SEASON TICKET – £80
Admission to 13 Championship Fixtures

GOLD SEASON TICKET – £110
Admission to 13 Championship Fixtures plus entry into the draw for 2 tickets for Wales’
home 6N Games (note – payment for tickets will be required in advance)

STANDARD HOSPITALITY – £ 175
Admission to 13 Championship Fixtures with Pre-Match Hospitality

PLATINUM HOSPITALITY – £205
Admission to 13 Championship Fixtures with Pre-Match Hospitality plus entry into the draw
for 2 tickets for Wales’ home 6N Games

PAYMENT METHODS:

BY CHEQUE
Download this  APPLICATION FORM  – complete and attach cheque to your Application Form & return to Neath Rugby Ltd, Gnoll Park Road, Neath SA11 3BU

BY CARD
Download this  APPLICATION FORM  – complete and take to the Clubhouse with your card – please keep till receipt as proof of purchase when collecting your Season Ticket

APPLICATION FORMS will be available at The Clubhouse from Thursday 18th July onwards…….