Merthyr RFC

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Merthyr RFC
Full nameMerthyr Rugby Football Club
Nickname(s)Ironmen
Founded1876[1]
LocationMerthyr Tydfil, Wales
Ground(s)The Wern (Capacity: 4,500)
PresidentSir Stanley Thomas
Coach(es)Garry Horrigan, Lee Jarvis, Dale McIntosh,[2] Jamie Ringer
Captain(s)Craig Locke, James Howe[3]
League(s)Principality Premiership
2016-17Principality Premiership, 1st (champions)
Team kit
Official website
merthyr.rfc.wales

Merthyr RFC is a Welsh rugby union club based in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. Merthyr RFC are members of the Welsh Rugby Union, playing in the Principality Premiership, and are a feeder club for the Cardiff Blues.[4]

Early history[edit]

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.[5] The club, along with Brecon, Pontypool, Llandovery College, Lampeter College and Llandeilo then inaugurated the South Wales Cup competition in the 1877-78 season.[6]

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.

In September 1960 the New Clubhouse opened in Ynysfach, and two years later, Merthyr Youth were formed.

Recent history[edit]

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.

In 2013-14, the Ironmen completed a Double under the Captaincy of Steve Lang and coached by former Wales International Lee Jarvis. They won the League Division 1 East title, securing their promotion to the WRU Championship, and also won the SWALEC Plate Final 29-26, against Rhiwbina at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff[7].

In 2015-16, Merthyr RFC enjoyed further success by winning the WRU SWALEC Championship, gaining promotion to the WRU Principality Premiership[8].

In 2016-17, the Ironmen completed a remarkable revolution by achieving their most successful season to date. The club won the WRU Principality Premiership during their inaugural season, with the final played against Aberavon RFC[9]. They also reached the semi-final of the SWALEC Cup, eventually losing to RGC 1404[10].

Kit manufacturers and sponsors[edit]

Years Kit Manufacturer Main Sponsor
2005-06 KooGa Redrow Homes
2006-08 Garth Bakery
2008-09 Canterbury Jobs@Pertemps
2009-10 None
2010-14 JNP Legal
2014 Macron Tetley's Brewery
2014-16 Miller Argent
2016- Leisuretime

Notable former players[edit]

See also Category:Merthyr RFC players

Club Honours[edit]

  • Division 1 East champions: 2013-14[11]
  • SWALEC Plate winners: 2013-14[12]
  • WRU Championship Winners: 2015-16
  • Principality Premiership: 2016-17, 2017-18
  • WRU National Cup: 2017-2018[13]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 pp11, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
  2. ^ WalesOnline (2015-11-04). "Former Cardiff Blues coach Dale McIntosh moves to Merthyr RFC as club get WRU green light for Welsh Premiership". Media Wales. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  3. ^ Merthyr RFC (2016-08-12). "Howe and Locke captain Ironmen". Merthyr RFC. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  4. ^ BBC News (2004-07-08). "Wales' regional rugby map". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  5. ^ Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 pp41, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
  6. ^ Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 pp43, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
  7. ^ Swalec Finals Day: Merthyr given scare by Rhiwbina but hang on to claim Swalec Plate title "WalesOnline"
  8. ^ 2015-16 SWALEC Championship league table WRU
  9. ^ Merthyr RFC complete remarkable revolution to become champions as sacked Aberavon legend comes back to haunt them BBC
  10. ^ RGC 24-20 Merthyr: Sam Jones the hero as the Ironmen suffer semi-final heartbreak at Sardis Road WalesOnline
  11. ^ "Merthyr RFC wrap up the league to earn promotion to the Championship with three games to spare". Wales Online. 28 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Swalec Finals Day: Merthyr given scare by Rhiwbina but hang on to claim Swalec Plate title". Wales Online. 4 May 2014.
  13. ^ "LOCKE ECSTATIC AFTER SPECIAL MERTHYR CUP WIN". wru. Retrieved 5 May 2018.