South Wales Ironmen

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Not to be confused with the defunct rugby league club of a similar name, South Wales RLFC.
South Wales Ironmen RL
South Wales Ironmen logo.svg
Club information
Full name South Wales Ironmen Rugby League
Website ironmenrl.wales
Colours      Black
Founded 2009
Current details
Ground(s)
Coach Phil Carleton
Captain Chris Vitalini (club capt.)
Competition Kingstone Press League 1
2016 League 1 14th
Rugby football current event.png Current season

South Wales Ironmen Rugby League (Welsh: Dynion Haearn De Cymru) is a semi-professional rugby league club based in Merthyr Tydfil. They play in League 1, the third tier of rugby league in the United Kingdom. The club was formed in 2009 as South Wales Scorpions, initially playing at The Gnoll in Neath before spells at Caerphilly, Mountain Ash and Maesteg.[1][2][3][4] The club was rebranded to Ironmen to coincide with the move to Merthyr Tydfil in 2017.

The club will play in a home strip of black whilst the away kit is grey.

History[edit]

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 the Crusaders joined the National League Two in 2006. The club was initially based in Bridgend.

The idea of a second professional side in Wales was discussed before the Celtic Crusaders had even played a game. The 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.[5] 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.[4] 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.

Several suggestions for a team moniker were made by various people. The club had a poll among fans online to choose between the various options. Scorpions proved to be the most popular choice with Crusaders just beaten into second place. On 22 December 2009, the club formally adopted the name South Wales Scorpions RLFC. An updated version of the logo was released in February 2010 following feedback.[6]

The initial badge in 2009

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. Professional rugby league returned to the Bridgend county borough as Scorpions moved to Maesteg RFC.[7] This move however would only last a single season as at the end of the season the club announced it would be moving to ground share with Mountain Ash RFC at Parc Dyffryn Pennar.[8]

In 2016 South Wales Scorpions played their home matches at Virginia Park the home of Caerphilly RFC. Their final match of the season was played at Blackwood RFC due to a damaged playing surface in Caerphilly.

South Wales rebranded as South Wales Ironmen for the 2017 season as the club moved to Merthyr Tydfil. The town of Merthyr Tydfil was, at one time, the largest producer of iron in the world.

Kit sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

Years Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor
2009-2011 Kukri none
2012-2014 Kooga April
2015- ISC United Konsultants

2017 squad[edit]

* As of 15 February 2017:

2016 Squad Numbers

No Player Position Former club
1 Jordan Sheridan Full Back Conwy Celts
2 Rhys Gant Wing South Wales Academy
3 Christian Roets Centre North Wales Crusaders
4 Yannic Parker Wing, Centre Gloucestershire All Golds
5 Dai Evans Wing Bridgend Ravens
6 Shane Lee Half Back South Wales Academy
7 Courtney Davies Half Back Gloucestershire All Golds
8 Chris Davies Prop Merthyr RFC
9 Connor Farrer (C) Hooker Celtic Crusaders
10 Izaak Duffy Prop Gloucestershire All Golds
11 Connor Parker Second Row Widnes Vikings
13 Chris Vitalini Loose Forward Gloucestershire All Golds
14 Jamie I'Anson Prop North Wales Crusaders
17 Ethan Coombes Prop South Wales Academy
19 Kristian Baller Hooker Pontypool RFC
22 Ben Jones Full Back South Wales Academy
23 Paul Edwards Centre, Full Back Glynneath RFC
24 Zak Williams Second Row Newport Gwent Dragons
25 Lewis Hughes Wing Bridgend Blue Bulls
Lewis Reece Second Row Gloucestershire All Golds
Lewis Willacot Wing Aber Valley Wolves
Morgan Jeffries Second Row West Wales Raiders
Richard Jones Second Row Gloucestershire All Golds
Ross Price Prop Valley Cougars
Sean Owens Hooker Suspension
Ashley Bateman Loose Forward Suspension
Andrew Gay Half Back Mackay Cutters
Richard Gay Prop Toukley Hawks

2017 transfers[edit]

Gains

Player Club Contract length Date
Wales Lewis Reece Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year October 2016
England Andrew Gay Mackay Cutters 1 Year October 2016
Wales Ashley Bateman Unattached 1 Year November 2016
Wales Shaun Owens Unattached 1 Year November 2016
Wales Richard Jones Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year November 2016
England Connor Parker Widnes Vikings 1 Year December 2016
England Ross Price Valley Cougars 1 Year December 2016
England Morgan Jeffries West Wales Raiders 1 Year December 2016
Wales Lewys Willacott Aber Valley Wolves 1 Year January 2017
England Richard Gay Toukley Hawks 1 Year January 2017

Losses

Player Club Contract length Date
Wales Mike Connor Cardiff RU 1 Year October 2016
Wales Paul Emanuelli Retirement / Coaching Staff N/A October 2016
Wales Sion Jones Halifax RLFC 1 Year October 2016
Wales Daffyd Hellard Retirement / Coaching Staff N/A October 2016
Wales Tom Morgan Bridgend Athletic 1 Year October 2016
Wales Jamie Murphy Bridgend Ravens 1 Year October 2016
Wales Ian Newbury Torfaen Tigers Coaching Staff 1 Year October 2016
Wales Barrie Phillips Cardiff City 1 Year October 2016
Wales Osian Phillips Australia 1 Year October 2016
Wales Kyle Scrivens Torfaen Tigers Coaching Staff 1 Year October 2016
Wales Anthony Symonds Newbridge RU 1 Year October 2016
Wales Rhys Davies Released October 2016
Wales Scott Gregory Released October 2016
Wales Bradley Hill Released October 2016

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "South Wales club to join Championship One". Rugby Football League. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Green light for new Welsh club". Press Association. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Wales online
  4. ^ a b "New rugby league club South Wales gets the green light". BBC. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Crusaders & Salford win licences". BBC. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "3D images of the kit". South Wales Scorpions. 5 February 2010. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "South Wales Scorpions Relocate to Maesteg". Wales Online. 
  8. ^ "Scorpions move to Mountain Ash". South Wales Scorpions. 01/10/2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]