The 19th South Wales Rugby League domestic men’s season kicks off this Saturday morning at Banwen RFC with a Nines competition featuring four clubs – Aber Valley Wolves, Aberavon Fighting Irish, Rhondda Outlaws and the hosts, Black Dragons.
The sides will face each other in a round-robin before the two top sides contest the final, which will be finished in time for all players will be invited to join together in the bar to watch the RFL Challenge Cup Final – Wigan Warriors v Huddersfield Giants – live from Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in London.
A week later, on June 4th, these four clubs will be joined by Cardiff Blue Dragons, plus last year’s WRL Men’s Championship winners Bridgend Blue Bulls, as they kick-off a ten-week competition.
For Aberavon Fighting Irish, it’s their first men’s game since 2006, having relaunched their junior set-up last year. Aber Valley Wolves last competed in the men’s league in 2016, but have a thriving junior section – with over 200 registered players, it’s the biggest in Wales. They meet in the season’s opening week, the match being played at Aneurin Park in Caerphilly.
Also in week one, Black Dragons host Cardiff Blue Dragons at Banwen Park, whilst Rhondda Outlaws are at home to Bridgend Blue Bulls at Glyncoch Sports and Social Club.
Aberavon will be playing matches out of the Aberavon Harlequins ground. Bridgend and Cardiff remain at Pyle RFC and Glamorgan Wanderers RFC respectively.
The 19th WRL men’s Grand Final will be on Sunday 21st August at a venue TBC. This will be followed by an Origin Series between East Wales, West Wales and North Wales between September 17 and October 1.
WRL General Manager, Mark Jones says: “Wales Rugby League are very excited to start the season off with a Nines tournament, and to welcome a number of new senior clubs to the WRL family. This year will see our community leagues expand in both the South and North of Wales.
“Our new development staff all around the country will be working tirelessly to grow the grassroots game with festivals, curtain raisers and pathway activity. There will be a chance for everyone to be involved in all the forms of the game.”
SOUTH WALES NINES FIXTURES (Banwen RFC, Saturday May 28th)
10am – Black Dragons v Aberavon Fighting Irish
10.30am – Rhondda Outlaws v Aber Valley Wolves
11am – Aberavon Fighting Irish v Rhondda Outlaws
11.30am – Black Dragons v Aber Valley Wolves
12pm – Aber Valley Wolves v Aberavon Fighting Irish
12.30pm – Black Dragons v Rhondda Outlaws
1.15pm – FINAL
CONFIRMED WRL SOUTH WALES MEN’S LEAGUE FIXTURES
Aber Valley Wolves v Aberavon Fighting Irish
Black Dragons v Cardiff Blue Dragons
Rhondda Outlaws v Bridgend Blue Bulls
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Black Dragons
Cardiff Blue Dragons v Aberavon Fighting Irish
Rhondda Outlaws v Aber Valley Wolves
Aberavon Fighting Irish v Black Dragons
Aber Valley Wolves v Bridgend Blue Bulls
Cardiff Blue Dragons v Rhondda Outlaws
Aber Valley Wolves v Cardiff Blue Dragons
Black Dragons v Rhondda Outlaws
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Aberavon Fighting Irish
Black Dragons v Aber Valley Wolves
Cardiff Blue Dragons v Bridgend Blue Bulls
Rhondda Outlaws v Aberavon Fighting Irish
Aberavon Fighting Irish v Aber Valley Wolves
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Rhondda Outlaws
Cardiff Blue Dragons v Black Dragons
Aberavon Fighting Irish v Cardiff Blue Dragons
Aber Valley Wolves v Rhondda Outlaws
Black Dragons v Bridgend Blue Bulls
Black Dragons v Aberavon Fighting Irish
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Aber Valley Wolves
Rhondda Outlaws v Cardiff Blue Dragons
Aberavon Fighting Irish v Bridgend Blue Bulls
Cardiff Blue Dragons v Aber Valley Wolves
Rhondda Outlaws v Black Dragons
Aberavon Fighting Irish v Rhondda Outlaws
Aber Valley Wolves v Black Dragons
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Cardiff Blue Dragons