|Full name||Merthyr Rugby Football Club|
|League(s)||WRU Division One East|
Merthyr RFC is a Welsh rugby union club based in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. Merthyr RFC are presently members of the Welsh Rugby Union playing in the Division One East League and are a feeder club for the Cardiff Blues.
The first recorded rugby game involving Merthyr was on 25 November 1876 against a side from Brecon. The result is believed to have been a draw. Merthyr RFC are recognised as one of the eleven clubs present on 12 April 1881 for the formation of the Welsh Rugby Union. The club, along with Brecon, Pontypool, Llandovery College, Lampeter College and Llandeilo then inaugurated the South Wales Cup competition in the 1877-78 season.
During these early years Merthyr RFC played at the Plymouth Ground at Pentrebach and were known as Merthyr Alexandra.
Following the First World War the Club played at Gwynnes Field, Cefn Coed and also at Penydarren Park although during the Second World War there was very little rugby played in Merthyr, a situation reflected throughout Wales. However in 1948 a meeting governed by Cyril Williams, Monty Warrington and Ron Gethin was enthusiastically supported and the game of rugby union returned to Merthyr Tydfil. The club played out of Dix's field, Danydarren, and then on to Glyndyrus field Abercanaid, before moving to the current ground, The Wern in Ynysfach in 1958.
September 1960 saw the opening of the New Clubhouse in Ynysfach and two years later Merthyr Youth were formed.
Merthyr RFC played Amateur District Rugby in the Rhondda and East Glamorgan District until they defeated Mold RFC at Abercynon to secure promotion and entry to the Fifth Division of the Heineken League under the Captaincy of Craig Dummett in 1993/4. Promotion immediately followed from the fifth to the fourth, then the third to the first in successive years (The two division jump caused by WRU restructuring of the league). Merthyr remained in the First Division for six seasons before being relegated to Division 2 following a players' strike. It took three seasons to achieve promotion back to the first division.
Merthyr Tydfil FC, the town's resident football club are planning to move from their existing home at Penydarren Park to a 12,000 stadium at the 'Merthyr Village' project. The rugby club could also potentially move there.
Notable former players
- Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 pp11, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
- WRU official site
- BBC News (2004-07-08). "Wales' regional rugby map". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 pp41, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
- Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 pp43, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)