South Wales Scorpions
|Full name||South Wales Scorpions Rugby League Football Club|
|Competition||Kingstone Press Championship 1 (from 2009)|
|2013 Championship 1||8th|
South Wales Scorpions Rugby League Football Club (Welsh: Sgorpionau De Cymru) are a professional rugby league club formed in 2009, based in Neath, Wales. They are owned by a consortium of South Wales businessmen, led by Phil Davies. Their home ground is The Gnoll, although this is owned by Neath RFC, the town's rugby union team.
There is an active supporters club based at the Gnoll in Neath, for further details and information regarding travel to away games and associated activities with the South Wales Scorpions RL club.
Many professional and semi-professional Welsh teams played rugby league in the otherwise English competitions since the formation of the Northern Union in 1895. The latest attempt to expand the game to South Wales began when Crusaders joined National League Two in 2006. The club were initially based in Bridgend.
The idea of a second professional side in Wales was discussed before Celtic Crusaders had even played a game. Crusaders' plan was to help a Rugby League Conference Welsh Premier club join the National Leagues to act as a feeder club if Crusaders reached Super League. The idea was also talked about in mid-2009 when Rugby Football League decided that Super League Reserves would be turned into an under-20 competition, a move that could have halted the development of rugby league players in the area after they turned 21 years old.
The formation of the Scorpions was accelerated after the Crusaders left South Wales and moved to Wrexham F.C.'s Racecourse Ground. South Wales RLFC were formed by a consortium of businessmen led by Phil Davies in late 2009. They were accepted into Championship One the third tier of British rugby league for the 2010 season.
On 22 December 2009 the club adopted the name South Wales Scorpions RLFC following a competition to name the team. An updated version of the logo was released in February 2010 following feedback.
The initial batch of players were selected from an open trial plus a few signings from other clubs. Some players were dual-registered with Crusaders RL and had played for the Crusaders reserves. Before a ball had been kicked, the club celebrated its first international players, Loren Quick and Lewis Reece, who played for Wales and Great Britain at under-18 level. Anthony Seibold, who had been an Assistant Coach at Crusaders, was the first head coach.
The Scorpions' first ever competitive game was against Workington Town on 28 February 2010, who also provided the competition for Celtic Crusaders' first match in the 2006 National League 2 competition. The Scorpions won this encounter 22-20, in front of a crowd of over 500 at the Gnoll; with stand-off Lloyd White, on a months loan at South Wales from Crusaders, landing the crucial penalty goal to secure victory. The team went on to finish sixth in the table and made the play-offs. Seibold returned to Australia at the end of the season.
Wales Rugby League, agreed to take over the running of South Wales Scorpions for the 2014 season after Phil Davies decided to step down.
* As of 1 October 2013:
|Joe Burke||Barrow Raiders||October 2013|
|Dalton Grant||Barrow Raiders||October 2013|
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- "New rugby league club South Wales gets the green light". BBC. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "South Wales Scorpions are named". LastTackle.com. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
- "Crusaders & Salford win licences". BBC. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "3D images of the kit". South Wales Scorpions. 2010-02-05. Archived from the original on 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-02-09.