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Neath RFC

Training starts – The Lextan Gnoll gets a brush-up – and more …


Our squad has resumed training ahead of the new season. The Lextan Gnoll pitch undergoing its summer maintenance regime to ensure that it remains one of the best – if not the best – all grass surface in Wales.

Sessions are being held at Neath Athletic RFC’s Court Herbert home. We are very grateful and it is very fitting that we do so – see HOW OLD IS NEATH RFC ? below.



Last Saturday, a group of volunteers gave freely of their time to begin the annual ‘makeover of The Lextan Gnoll.

Weeding, cleaning, painting and other small but essential tasks were the order of the day. Matty’s apologises if anyone has been inadvertently overlooked and says thanks are due to : Clive Aprea, Julian Beynon, Dean Evans, Callie Harrison, Phil Harrison, Mark Headon, Julie Hodges, Gareth Jenkins, Stephanie Laws, Caitlin Lewis, Gillian Lewis, Gethin Samuel, Robert Smith,  Geoff Stokes, Aisla Young, Buddy Young. (Any omissions will be corrected next week).

With the community team under Adrian Cowley working hard too, great progress was made but there remains much to do.

Work-parties continue for the next two Saturdays – June 29 and July 6 – CAN YOU HELP ? Please let Matty Young know or just turn up at The Gnoll at 9.00am.



Neath RFC is launching its ‘Grand Slam’ lottery with prizes up to £1,000. To join, follow the link on the web-site, as below:



Matty Young is co-ordinating all our advertisers and sponsors for the new season.

He says, “We sincerely thank all the advertisers and sponsors who have renewed their support of us here at Neath RFC and we welcome aboard several new backers too. It has been gratifying to hear that so many people appreciate what Neath RFC means to the community at large and it has been humbling to receive all the well wishes of so many people who are keen to work with us.”

Opportunities exist for perimeter advertising at The Gnoll, programme advertising, match sponsorship and match-ball sponsorship. If you can help (or know anyone who can), please contact Matty on 07399 170621.


Ystrad Rhondda’s coaching reins have passed to ex-Pontypridd wing Alex Webber and Jack Dunning. Former Wales wing Tom James has re-signed for Bargoed as have hooker Louie Tovey (Cross Keys) and back rower Lewis Johnson (Pontypool) but they have lost back-rower Lewis Robey to Pontypool. Merthyr’s ex-Ponty flanker cum centre Morgan Sieniawski is said to be heading back to home club Llantwit Fardre.

Clubs are firming up their pre-season warm-ups : Pontypridd will play Abercwmboi (H – Aug 2), Tenby United (A – Aug 10), Cinderford (H – Aug 17) and Cardiff (H – Aug 24). Ystrad Rhondda play Glamorgan Wanderers (A – Aug 10), Aberdare (H – Aug 17) and Beddau (H – Aug 31) and Newcastle Emlyn play Carmarthen Quins (A – Aug 15) and Crymych (H – Aug 22).

Cross Keys will play 4 games – Cambrian Welfare (H – Aug 10), Luctonians (A – Aug 17), Ynysddu (H – Aug 22) and Penallta (H – Aug 30). Brecon will play Newport on Aug 24.

Just a reminder that we will content ourselves with 3 games : Cambrian Welfare (H – Aug 16), Swansea (H – Aug 22) and Talywain (H – Aug 30).


On Friday, November 4, 1864 (the small matter of 160 years ago), the following article appeared in “The Cambrian”  :-

“FOOTBALL – It is with much pleasure that we announce the formation of a Club for playing this healthy game during the winter months at Neath. On Thursday a game was played in a field near Court Herbert, though the number of players was not so large as may be expected when the Club becomes more formed. As President, we notice the name of J.T.D. Llewellyn Esq., a gentleman well known in the neighbourhood for the interest he takes in all athletic games – under his auspices we think the Club cannot but succeed. The rules of the game, as played at Rugby, are being attended to, and would some other club in this locality adopt the same, a spirited match might soon be looked for.”

 Those wishing to read more about Neath RFC’s early history should read Volume 1 of my Club History which is available from Dawn at the Supporters’ Club.

Many clubs have used far flimsier evidence than this to claim their birth-date – should we celebrate our 160th Anniversary this year ?

Until next time … MP