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Neath RFC


Spread the word, NEATH RFC is alive and kicking and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes in preparation for the 2024/25 season.

Coaches Tim Ryan and Ryan Evans are looking forward to starting training in a fortnight’s time when last year’s squad will be joined by some exciting new signings.

Our indefatigable web-site administrator Colin Chapman is about to launch the roster of ‘retained’ players and we should be able to start introducing some of the new faces from next week.


We are one of just three clubs to have retained our Premiership status alongside Merthyr and Pontypridd.

News from those great clubs is that Merthyr have retained many of their players including captain Paddy McBride despite pressure from EDC clubs – although outstanding No 8 Alun Lawrence has re-joined Cardiff and lock Callum Bradbury is headed for Newport.

Ponty have lost a dozen players but have kept a hard core up front and will have no trouble rebuilding. They have already taken on Ystrad Rhondda scrum-half Lucus Welsh, outside-half Jacob Symes who was with Swansea last year and centre Stuart Floyd-Ellis from Bridgend.

There will be plenty of strong challenges ahead of us with supporters already looking forward to re-visiting Bargoed, Cardiff Met, Cross Keys, Newbridge and Ystrad Rhondda from the East and Bonymaen, Brecon, Llangennech, Narberth and Newcastle-Emlyn from the West. Brecon are said to have recruited strongly too.

24 league games in all means we will have a proper fixture-list in the ‘busiest’ division in Wales which is great for everyone who loves the Game.

We eagerly await our fixtures and do know that the league season will start on Saturday, September 7 – although with just 13 teams in the Division, there will be a blank week for one club each week.


Warm-up games have been arranged and two dates for your diary are below.

Neath supporters have the opportunity to welcome new opponents to The Gnoll on Friday, August 16 (7.15pm) when Mid-District champions Cambrian Welfare visit. The Rhondda club have been newly-promoted to the Championship and will pose a strong challenge.

The following Thursday, August 22, Neath will reprise Wales’ oldest club fixture when Swansea make their now annual visit to The Gnoll (7.15pm).

One date is awaiting confirmation and Neath RFC have a vacancy for a further home game on Friday, August 30 – any interested clubs should contact secretary Mike Price.


Don’t forget Saturday, June 15 and Sunday June 16, the “Heart of Wales Sevens” at The Gnoll from 9.30am.

There will be  hours of non-stop rugby entertainment and all-day tickets cost just £5  on an “easy in – easy out” basis so supporters can pop into the Town Centre if they wish although food and drinks will be available inside the ground if you don’t want to miss any of the action.


Helpers are required to spruce up The Gnoll on weekends starting Saturday, June 22.

Tasks include painting, weeding, cleaning and general tidying up – efforts will be rewarded on the day. Please let Matty Young know if you can assist.


It is anticipated that season tickets will go on sale in early July – details to follow after the fixtures for 2024/25 have been confirmed.


Neath RFC is launching its ‘Grand Slam’ lottery with prizes up to £1,000. To join, follow the link on the website or see Matty Young in the Clubhouse on Thursday evenings.


Matty Young has been busy working with advertisers and sponsors for the new season with a gratifying response so far with both existing and new backers coming on board. Jersey advertising is now complete and the kit is on order with Macron.

However, great opportunities still exist for perimeter advertising at The Gnoll, programme advertising, individual match sponsorship and match-ball sponsorship and, of course, player backers for inclusion in the programme.


On Sunday May 26, the centenary of the Welsh Schools (Senior Group) was celebrated with a game against Yorkshire at Cardiff Arms Park – and100 years ago, as usual Neath was to the fore.

Three Neath boys were included in that first international against France (lost 5-23) : A P Green, Cyril Michael who became a teacher and Neath Cricket Club legend, and Howie Jones who later scored 6 tries in a game for Neath and won a senior cap from Swansea.

Two other players from that game – Cliff Cameron (Ammanford) and future international outside-half Windsor Lewis (Christ’s College, Brecon) – also appeared for Neath.


And, continuing the history lesson, on May 18, 1924, USA beat France 17-3 to win the Paris Olympics gold medal with Neath’s Albert Freethy refereeing the final. Ex-Neath and Australia three-quarter D.B. (Danny) Carroll coached the successful USA team.

Until next time … MP