1st XV Match Preview V London Welsh (Away) Sun 17/01/2010 



by Joe Heaton

London Welsh v Moseley, at Old Deer Park, RFU Championship, Now Sunday, January 17th 2010, k.o. 2.00 pm

London Welsh v Moseley match now SUNDAY, 2.00pm.


Looking out of the window at the frozen garden it is difficult to envisage this away match against London Welsh being played unless there is a significant thaw during the next four days. Nevertheless this game is scheduled for London with its slightly milder climate and hope springs eternal!

This is especially so as scheduled for this fixture is a re-union of the Old Players Associations of London Welsh, Moseley and Bath (yes Bath!) who will be holding a joint re-union lunch for their London based clubs in a special marquee at this game.

Our three clubs have had many memorable fixtures going back decades and they have usually been high scoring and entertaining. If the match goes ahead, it will be Moseley’s third this season against the Welsh Dragons. The first two were played in the autumn at Billesley Common, both resulting in defeat for Moseley although one was in the B&I Cup:

Sat. 24th Oct. Championship Moseley 17 London Welsh 21

Fri. 20th Nov. British & Irish Cup Moseley 27 London Welsh 38

The first match was played in windy conditions, which made goal kicking uncertain and the Welsh outscored Moseley by two tries to one. The second was played on a Friday evening, when the exiles outplayed the hosts and scored five tries to our two.

London Welsh (Clwb Rygbi Cymry 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 going into administration and its management failing to inform the RFU about this.

The present position of the two clubs in the Championship league is:

                      P W D L   F    A    P   - Pos
London Welsh 15 9 0 6 337 270 44  - 3rd
Moseley          15 6 0 9 306 395 29  - 8th

The results of the Welsh’s past three matches are:

2nd Jan London Welsh 12 Exeter 10
19th Dec London Welsh 30 Rotherham 24
12th Dec B’ham/Solihull 6 London Welsh 29

The Moseley players will visit Old Deer Park, having won their last two games, against Coventry at home (26-20) and Plymouth away (10-20). It is difficult to judge what effect the lay off and missed outdoor training will have had on the squad but, coming home from the West Country, morale, with six consecutive defeats now well behind the team, was sky high.

The competition for the eighth Championship place (which would avoid the dreaded relegation play off) is intensifying between Moseley, Plymouth, Rotherham and Doncaster. There is no margin for error.

In the fifteen matches played so far in the Championship, Moseley’s defence has leaked more than 22 points per match, although in the last two matches, against Coventry (20) and Plymouth (10), this had thankfully fallen to 15. Any hope of winning on Saturday, or even returning with a precious bonus point, is dependent on a further improvement in the defensive record, for if this is done, the attack can be relied upon to score the necessary points.

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 British and Irish 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), John Taylor (now London Welsh Chief Executive and an ITV commentator), JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Mervyn Davies, Mike Roberts and Geoff Evans. Seven of the present squad were born in Wales and three are from overseas.

The acquisition from the Administrator in July, 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 rugby creditors of the old entity, apart from shareholders and directors loans, had to be paid in full.

There is currently some speculation about the financial substance of the Welsh’s new backers and their ability to underwrite the club’s ambitions. However if this proud Welsh club does eventually get promoted to the Premiership, there are hopes to play at Griffin Park, the home of Brentford F.C. or, alternatively, build a new 20,000 spectator ground near Kew Bridge.

If the game is played on Saturday one thing is certain whatever the outcome. The Moseley faithful along with their old players, will enjoy the day and be able to watch some live rugby whatever the trials and tribulations of the weather and the financiers.


Click Here
London Welsh RFC
Old Deer Park
187 Kew Rd





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