Neath RFC has been given the green light to launch a female hub at the Gnoll in March.
The women’s and girls’ game is growing fast in Wales and plans are in place to cater for mini and juniors up to the age of 16 in the first season, plus rugby fitness and rugby boot camps for seniors, before rolling out to Under-18s and senior provision in the second season.
Matt Church, CEO of Neath Rugby, says: “This is our first foray into the women’s game.
We want to integrate back within the community and the women’s game is part of that.
“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to go down that path and if we can assist the women’s game across Wales and look to develop some elite players that’s what we’re here for. We want to become a stakeholder in the town from all angles of rugby.
“We cannot yet cater for boys’ rugby as that would endanger all the local clubs in the district who do such a good job at junior level. But we do our utmost at that level by ensuring that College, youth, schools Neath Schools Under-15’s and Under-11’s and minis have access to play regularly at The Gnoll.
“The female teams, called the Neath Panthers (which will inevitably evolve into the “Black Panthers”), will play on Sundays throughout the summer so will not interfere with the established male operations at Neath RFC.