Neath are hoping to benefit from the “feel good rugby factor” in the Town after the massive success of Saturday’s Paul James benefit match at The Gnoll.
The Blacks are already building towards their next big rugby occasion – Neath’s pre-season opener against London Welsh on Saturday, August 17th – and are preparing for a crowd bonus.
The official verdict from The Gnoll is that the Paul James game was a winner in every respect.
A crowd touching 5,000 made for a fantastic atmosphere, the rugby was classic all the way, the bars and hospitality suites were kept busy long into the evening and the Town itself was buzzing with many local businesses reporting increased activity.
It proved that Neath RFC remains more than capable of hosting the big occasion and now all at The Gnoll are hoping for a repeat when the Exiles, unbeaten for two seasons and always attractive opponents, return to The Gnoll next month.
A Neath spokesman said, “If half of those who attended on Saturday come back for the London Welsh game we would be well pleased. We can’t promise the big names but we can promise an exciting new squad giving their utmost to put the pride back in Neath.”
Neath captain Aaron Bramwell (pictured above) played for the Classic Lions on Saturday and said, “It was a brilliant occasion. To play on the same pitch as some real top-notch players was a huge honour for me.
“Everybody at the club worked so hard to make it a family occasion and a success for Paul and the place was absolutely bouncing. My kids really enjoyed the day – like many, they didn’t want to go home.
“It showed that there is still huge feeling for rugby in Neath and the surrounding area and it would be great if people come back again for the London Welsh game.”
Saturday afternoon was the culmination of Paul James’ benefit year and crowned the tough prop’s marvellous senior career which started at Neath before going on to represent the Ospreys and Bath.
Rugby was the real winner and now Neath eyes are focussed firmly on the future – so book August 17th into your diary for Neath versus London Welsh !
Saturday, August 17th (noon kick off) Neath v London Welsh (Admission £5 adults, Under-16’s free) – followed by Wales v England (2.15pm) in the Clubhouse.
Hospitality available @ £15 including London Welsh match ticket.
Food served from 1.00pm and will keep serving into Wales v England game. Would love a bumper crowd to cheer on the boys in our first friendly.
We welcome Cai Griffiths back to the Gnoll who brings a very good London Welsh team.
The band, “This River” will be playing in the sports bar downstairs at 5.00pm also.
It’s going to be a cracker of a day. Book your places now!
To book your place(s) and for further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org