Category: Neath Rugby News


We are calling upon our supporters to hold out a helping hand in their community for less fortunate children and families this Easter. We have teamed up with two local organisations that help so many people. We will be donating the easter eggs to Ysgol Gynradd Abbey Primary Schools Autism Unit and Neath Port Talbot Councils FAST Team’s Children & Young People Services who work with families in the area in need of care and support.

Both Ruth and I are thrilled to have been approached by Neath RFC in relation to their Easter Egg appeal. Between our Teams we support some of the most vulnerable families in the Local Authority. Our main aim is to keep families together and support them in achieving their maximum potential. Your support will ensure that the children experience a positive Easter experience alongside their peers. Recent changes to benefits have meant that some of the families on the lowest incomes are going for up to 6 weeks with no income and are struggling to make ends meet. Your support will ease this pressure in respect of Easter and for that we are truly thankful.

Jo Cole
FAST Team Manager
Children & Young People Services

We will be collecting the Easter eggs at our fixture against Bedwas on Saturday April 13th to help brighten up Easter for less fortunate families and children across Neath. Neath RFC want to give back to the community and support those less fortunate.

Next time you’re at the shops, please consider picking up a contribution and bringing it to the game where we will have an allocated table for your donations inside the clubhouse.

If you would like to donate an Easter egg but can’t make it down to the game please contact Gareth Howells, Neath Rugby Commercial Manager on or 07974873683


Neath hosts the WRU National Cup semi-final between Llandovery and Cardiff at The Gnoll on Saturday, April 6th (kick off 2.30pm).

To assist spectator enjoyment, visiting supporters should take note of the following:

  • Car parking is available in a multi-storey car park which is situated just 200 metres from the ground (closes at 6.30pm)
  • The Clubhouse will be open prior to the match with two large downstairs bars for supporters
  • The Gnoll is a “no smoking/vaping” environment
  • WRU have set gate prices at £10 (Adults) and £5 (Under-16’s)
  • Programmes (£1) will also be on sale
  • The only points of admission to the ground will be via the turnstiles at the Town End – turnstiles will be open from 1.30pm
  • Catering facilities will be available inside the ground near to the turnstiles (bar and burgers, teas etc.)
  • Supporters are not permitted to stand on the concourse in front of the Clubhouse or Main Stand for safety reasons
  • Supporters are requested to follow any instructions given by safety stewards on the day
  • Please respect the kicker when kicking at goal
  • Please respect the match officials


Long-standing Neath supporters will be sorry to learn of the death of former Aberavon and Wales second row Billy Mainwaring after a lengthy illness.

Billy Mainwaring did not play for Neath but he graced The Gnoll so many times during a distinguished career that he was immediately recognisable to all Neath followers who, apart from appreciating his play, relished the vocal encouragement he enjoyed from the stands from his mother who was equally as popular..

Billy did, however, appear in combined Neath-Aberavon sides against Australia (1966) as a No.8, South Africa (1969) when he captained the team from the second row and against New Zealand (1973).

The Neath club’s sympathies go to Billy’s family and to Aberavon RFC on the passing of a highly-respected character.


Neath Rugby are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a corporate lunch at Neath Rugby Clubhouse on Friday 17th of May.

The event is to thank our commercial partners for their support and to have a get together for partners, supporters and potential new commercial partners for next season along with a fundraiser for the club.

We would welcome you joining us to enjoy an afternoon of rugby stories from past players of Neath, networking and gaining an insight into how the club is now moving towards a brighter future both on and off the field. There will also be a raffle and auction on the day to help raise some funds for the club.

Guest speakers for the event include current Wales Women’s Head Coach, ex Neath, Wales, Great Britain, Warrington and Workington Town player Mr Rowland Phillips along with ex Bangor, Neath, Wales age grade and Wales U21s, Ospreys, London Welsh, London Irish prop forward Mr Cai Griffiths.

Places are available to purchase at £25 per head for a three course meal with tea’s & coffee’s or you can purchase a table of 10 for £250.

Format Of The Afternoon

  • Midday Arrival
  • Lunch served 1pm
  • Speakers
  • Presentations
  • Raffle & Auction
  • Networking
  • Ends 4:30pm


To book please contact Neath Rugby commercial manager Gareth Howells on or 07974873683


Cardiff will play Llandovery in the Semi-Final of the National Cup.

This game will be played at Neath RFC on Saturday 6th April at 2:30pm

The Principality Premiership fixture, Cardiff v Neath (away), originally set for this date will be re-arranged. Will advise further when confirmed.

The other semi-final tie, Pontypool RFC v Merthyr RFC will take place on Saturday 6th April 2019 at Ebbw Vale RFC….



Bargoed deservedly and easily won the basement battle in the Premiership in the sunshine on Saturday against a tired-looking Neath side.

Several of Neath’s already lean squad were missing for various reasons which meant another raft of changes, the Blacks drafting in full back Jordan Coles (Aberdare) who showed some neat touches and Ben Jones (Glynneath) who was as lively as when he last played five seasons ago and he did as much as could be expected behind a beaten pack.

Bargoed had the better of the first-half but Neath missed chances to go in front via a straightforward penalty and then a fine break by flanker Joe Grabham which failed due to lack of support.

The home side took the lead through a try by outside-half Josh Prosser which he converted and then another when weak tackling in the build up let in full back Callum Jones and when the home side were awarded a penalty try Neath were already out of it, nineteen points down at the interval.

The tries flowed in the second-half when Bargoed called nearly all the shots with Prosser giving Neath an object lesson. He sensibly dictated affairs, kicking lengthily and astutely out of defence whereas Neath gambled on running from deep.

Home tries came from wing Duane Dyer, converted by Prosser, and from centre Barney Nightingale before Neath enjoyed a golden ten minutes which yielded first tries for the club by Scott Davies who worked hard alongside Rhys Morgan in the second row and by No.8 Guido Volpi with Callum Hall converting both.

But any hopes of a sustained revival were quickly extinguished when flanker Grant Rogers crossed for a try which Prosser converted. Further scores by Geraint Edmunds, another penalty try and then one by Prosser hoisted the home side beyond the half-century.

Neath kept playing and near the end forced a series of raids close to the Bargoed line – their efforts probably deserved a score as bargoed infringed but it all came to nothing. Maybe it was a game too far for the re-shaped Blacks who have had a tough run recently and a Welsh Cup-enforced rest next Saturday might be just what the doctor ordered.

Neath coach Patrick Horgan observed, “Bargoed will in all probability be relegated with us at the end of the season so this result highlights how much work we have ahead of us.

“We had a lot of players missing from our regular crew with new recruits like Jarrad and Jordan Rees, Nicky Griffiths, Lee Evans, Leon Ward and so on out injured as well.

“We’ll regroup now for the final charge at the last five games and we need to keep our focus. We will be looking for improvements and refinements in each game and then we’ll have the summer to really get down to work.”

NEATH – Jordan Coles; Gareth Hopkins, Tom Evans (Gavin Evans), Aaron Bramwell (captain); Alec Jenkins; Callum Hall, Ben Jones; Kieran Griffiths (Cole Barry), Sion Crocker (Connah Vaughan), Tyla Murvai; Scott Davies, Rhys Morgan (Ioan Jones); Garin Lloyd (Gareth Jones), Guido Volpi, Joe Grabham (Ceri White)


Neath journey to Bargoed to play the side nearest them in the Premiership on Saturday (kick off 2.30pm) and there are changes fore and aft for the Blacks.

Gareth Hopkins comes back on the wing with Callum Hall partnering Glynneath’s Ben Jones at half-back. Up front lock Rhys Morgan, Garin Lloyd and Joe Grabham resume.

The bench is yet to be finalised.

Neath v Bargoed (Away)
15 Aaron Bramwell (captain); 14 Alec Jenkins, 13 Tomas Evans, 12 Jarrad Rees, 11 Gareth Hopkins; 10 Callum Hall, 9 Ben Jones, 1 Kieran Griffiths, 2 Sion Crocker, 3 Tyla Murvai; 4 Scott Davies, 5 Rhys Morgan, 6 Garin Lloyd, 8 Guido Volpi, 7 Joe Grabham

Replacements – TBC


Let’s take a lot of support to BARGOED and back the boys!

Supporters bus to BARGOED on SATURDAY 30th MARCH 2019 – leaving Clubhouse at 12.00 Midday for the 2:30pm Kickoff.

Bus Organiser / Party Animal Co-ordinator, Mark Davies, said: “We missed our Xmas trip in December, as we didn’t know what was happening to our rugby club.
It’s a new dawn and it’s about time we celebrated our belated Xmas fun bus”

To book YOUR seat on the “FUN BUS” contact Mark Davies on via Facebook & Twitter or ➡️ 07435612319



Neath might be heading for relegation but they are not going down without a fight and, while Quins were undeniably the stronger unit, the Blacks again showed plenty of pride and the scoreline did not reflect how much of the game they enjoyed.

For the first time since October, Neath did not have a new starter in their line-up but they were the architects of their own downfall. After an even opening eight minutes, the Blacks were attacking only for Quins winger Dylan Morgans to intercept a pass from the pirouetting back-rower Leon Ward to race 65 metres to score at the other end.

Both Ward and fellow back-rower Ceri White were then halted inches from the try-line but, rather against the run of play, Quins scrum-half Aaron Hemmings nipped in for their second try as he capitalised upon weak tackling on the left and full back Aled Thomas slotted the simple second conversion.

Neath stuck to their task though with No.8 Guido Volpi carrying strongly at every opportunity and the front rank of Kieran Griffiths, Sion Crocker and Tyla Murvai grafted hard. Behind them, halves Macauley Griffiths and Jordan Rees were ever eager to bring centres Tom Evans and Jarrad Rees into play and, midway through the half, Neath got some overdue reward for their efforts when outside-half Jordan Rees landed a penalty.

Photos courtesy of Len Kowalski of @neathtog

But Quins came again when scrum half Hemmings was allowed a second bite at a scrum under the Neath posts and went in for their third try which Thomas converted. Neath pressed hard up to the interval and opted to go for a line-out rather than a simple three points but it came to nothing and Quins were in control at 21-3 up.

The Blacks continued to show a willingness to play after the restart and a clever kick by Jordan Rees was gathered by Ystalyfera winger Jon Bayliss who gathered cleanly to score wide out. Quins were clearly rattled because their next visit to the Neath 22 saw them opt for a kick at goal which the admirable Thomas landed to make it 24-8.

As the replacements flowed, the game opened up and Quins grabbed the bonus point when hooker Torin Myhill crossed from a well-worked more up the front of a line-out. Aled Thomas converted and the full back then scored himself and converted for a personal tally of 18 points which put the game beyond Neath.

But still the persistent Blacks would not lie down and they kept attacking to the end. Full back Aaron Bramwell, making his 150th appearance, played with the courage of a latter-day J.P.R. Williams (without the sweat band) and repeatedly hurtled into the attack. Neath kept chasing and ultimately replacement James Roberts gathered and two quick passes later Callum Hall skipped in for a try which he converted himself.

So it was another defeat for Neath but it was much, much better than the corresponding fixture at Carmarthen and Blacks’ supporters, while still yearning the spoils, were well content again with the intent and effort which their under-fire team is showing.

NEATH – Aaron Bramwell (captain); Jon Bayliss, Tomas Evans (Callum Hall), Jarrad Rees (James Roberts), Alec Jenkins; Jordan Rees, Macauley Griffiths; Kieran Griffiths (Robat White), Sion Crocker (Connah Vaughan), Tyla Murvai (Ben Curtis-Jones); Scott Davies (Garin Lloyd), Ioan Jones (Rhys Morgan), Leon Ward, Guido Volpi, Ceri White (Jake Blackmore) H


In one of only two Premiership fixtures on Saturday, Neath play Carmarthen Quins at The Gnoll (kick off 2.30pm) and the Blacks’ selection features many of those who finished so strongly against RGC last week.

Young centre Tom Evans who scored a quick-fire debut try last week starts at centre along with winger Jon Bayliss who last appeared on Boxing Day. Jordan Rees and Macauley Griffiths team up at half back.

Up front prop Kieran Griffiths, hooker Sion Crocker, lock Scott Davies and flankers Leon Ward and Ceri White re-appear.

It is not quite a rota but the bench comprises five players who started last week alongside the returning Connah Vaughan and Robat White (also Ystalyfera) with one prop position to be finalised.

Neath v Carmarthen Quins (Home)
15 Aaron Bramwell (captain); 14 Jon Bayliss, 13 Tomas Evans, 12 Jarrad Rees, 11 Alec Jenkins; 10 Jordan Rees, 9 Macauley Griffiths 1 Kieran Griffiths, 2 Sion Crocker, 3 Tyla Murvai; 4 Scott Davies, 5 Ioan Jones, 6 Leon Ward, 8 Guido Volpi, 7 Ceri White

Replacements – 16 Connah Vaughan, 17 Robat White, 18 A.N.Other, 19 Rhys Morgan, 20 Jake Blackmore, 21 Garin Lloyd, 22 Callum Hall, 23 James Roberts