South Wales Ironmen
|Full name||South Wales Ironmen Rugby League|
|Captain||Chris Vitalini (club capt.)|
|Competition||Kingstone Press League 1|
|2016 League 1||14th|
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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
|Years||Kit Manufacturer||Main Shirt Sponsor|
* As of 15 February 2017:
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Lewis Reece||Gloucestershire All Golds||1 Year||October 2016|
|Andrew Gay||Mackay Cutters||1 Year||October 2016|
|Ashley Bateman||Unattached||1 Year||November 2016|
|Shaun Owens||Unattached||1 Year||November 2016|
|Richard Jones||Gloucestershire All Golds||1 Year||November 2016|
|Connor Parker||Widnes Vikings||1 Year||December 2016|
|Ross Price||Valley Cougars||1 Year||December 2016|
|Morgan Jeffries||West Wales Raiders||1 Year||December 2016|
|Lewys Willacott||Aber Valley Wolves||1 Year||January 2017|
|Richard Gay||Toukley Hawks||1 Year||January 2017|
|Mike Connor||Cardiff RU||1 Year||October 2016|
|Paul Emanuelli||Retirement / Coaching Staff||N/A||October 2016|
|Sion Jones||Halifax RLFC||1 Year||October 2016|
|Daffyd Hellard||Retirement / Coaching Staff||N/A||October 2016|
|Tom Morgan||Bridgend Athletic||1 Year||October 2016|
|Jamie Murphy||Bridgend Ravens||1 Year||October 2016|
|Ian Newbury||Torfaen Tigers Coaching Staff||1 Year||October 2016|
|Barrie Phillips||Cardiff City||1 Year||October 2016|
|Osian Phillips||Australia||1 Year||October 2016|
|Kyle Scrivens||Torfaen Tigers Coaching Staff||1 Year||October 2016|
|Anthony Symonds||Newbridge RU||1 Year||October 2016|
|Rhys Davies||Released||October 2016|
|Scott Gregory||Released||October 2016|
|Bradley Hill||Released||October 2016|
- "South Wales club to join Championship One". Rugby Football League. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009.[dead link]
- "Green light for new Welsh club". Press Association. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- Wales online
- "New rugby league club South Wales gets the green light". BBC. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "Crusaders & Salford win licences". BBC. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "3D images of the kit". South Wales Scorpions. 5 February 2010. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
- "South Wales Scorpions Relocate to Maesteg". Wales Online.
- "Scorpions move to Mountain Ash". South Wales Scorpions. 01/10/2014. Check date values in: