1st XV Match Preview V London Welsh (Home) Sat 24/10/2009 



by Joe Heaton

MOSELEY v  London Welsh -  RFU Championship, at Billesley Common - Saturday, 24th October 2009, k. o. 3pm (but come for lunch!)

This is the first of two home matches against London Welsh within a month and it will be a very tough fixture. The second will be our first British & Irish Cup match on Friday evening, 20th November.

London Welsh (Clwb Rygbi Cymru Llundain) entered the new Championship carrying a five point penalty from the RFU, which is already taken off in the published weekly league tables. The points were deducted due to the club’s recent Administration and the failure to inform the RFU of this prior to it occurring.

Surprisingly, the five point deduction has not, at present, altered the club’s position in The Championship, which is 6th place, immediately above Moseley at 7th.

P W D L F A B Pts

London Welsh 7 4 0 3 175 125 5 16 (21)

Moseley        7 3 0 4 165 222 3 15

The three matches the Welsh have lost so far are:

6th September Bristol 28 London Welsh 23

13th September Nottingham 23 London Welsh 16

10th October Exeter 13 London Welsh 9

i.e. losses only to the top three teams in the Championship!

In spite of losing the last match (9-19) at Bristol last Friday evening, and closely missing a bonus point which would have been well deserved, Moseley confirmed that the improvements of the three previous winning matches have bedded-in.

This, however, is London Welsh’s second season with a fully professional squad and the standards of conditioning and fitness this enables the players to reach in a talented squad, pose a major challenge to Moseley.

Last season the two clubs met three times:

In National League One:

30th August 08 Moseley 9 London Welsh 15 L

2nd May 09 London Welsh 50 Moseley 37 L

In the EDF Cup Quarter Final:

28th February 09 London Welsh 21 Moseley 27 W

London Welsh, established by and for London’s Welsh Community, has played senior-level rugby since the club’s formation in 1885. Over the years the club has contributed 177 players to the Wales national team and 43 players to the British Lions.

Seven London Welsh players were selected for the 1971 tour to New Zealand (a Lion’s record in the amateur era: captain John Dawes (now London Welsh President, JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Mervyn Davies, John Taylor (now an ITV commentator), Mike Roberts and Geoff Evans. Seven of the present squad were born in Wales and three are from overseas.

The takeover in July from the Administrator, of the then London Welsh RFC by a new consortium, Red Dragon Rugby Ltd, was subject to strict legal and financial conditions, including that all the creditors (£1.3m) of the old entity, apart from shareholders, must be paid in full. These should all have been cleared by now although a small sum is still owed to Moseley and it would be good to see this cleared before the game on Saturday.

The Welsh’s stated intention is to achieve Premiership status and if this is achieved the club hopes to play at Griffin Park, the home of Brentford F.C. or, alternatively, build a new 20,000 spectator ground near Kew Bridge.

All the disparate Welshmen living in Birmingham have for decades been coming out in force for this fixture and created a unique atmosphere. This is an attractive fixture which therefore merits equally strong support from the Moseley faithful and we look forward to an entertaining afternoon on Saturday.

Community team adds...........

This Saturday is a mini/junior day, the under 10s will be playing Edwardians RFC at half time, and the Moseley under 9s and 8s will be playing an exhibition game within each age group.

We will also be running our ‘Come and Try Rugby’ session between 12.30pm and 2.30pm on the rubber crumb. This is open to all children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. It is interesting to note that around 15% of those who come along start coming either to Moseley on a Sunday or to their local club. A good success rate. Although, it is not a recruitment exercise, but the opportunity for local children to feel involved at the club. They are invited (and a parent) to stay on and watch the first team game.

Richard Webb


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