1st XV Match Preview V Aberavon (Away) Tue 23/02/2010 



by Joe Heaton

Aberavon v Moseley, at
Talbot Athletic Ground, B&I Cup,
re-arranged Tuesday 23rd February 2010, k.o. 7.30 pm

In the days before professionalism and leagues Moseley played all the top Welsh teams, including Aberavon, and the success, or otherwise, of a particular season was judged in part by the results of such matches.

On Friday evening Aberavon will again be hosting Moseley, but this time in the new British & Irish Cup. Although this is both a cup match and an Anglo-Welsh fixture, it undoubtedly will be a less pressurised game than Moseley’s recent ones in the RFU Championship and should provide an opportunity for the coaches and players to put behind them the bitter disappointment of losing last Saturday against Bedford.

Since leagues were introduced in 1990-91, Aberavon has topped the Division One Championship four times (1994-95, 1996-97, 2000-01, and 2001-02) and has been in the Premiership since 2003, when regional rugby was introduced in Wales. In both 1974 and 1975 Aberavon lost in the final of the WRU Cup. The club celebrated its centenary in 1976 by adopting Wizards as the official club emblem. Currently the club lies in seventh place (out of 14) in the Welsh Premiership.

At the time of writing Moseley’s squad for the game has yet to be announced, but it would not be surprising if several of the senior players were given a well deserved rest in preparation for next weeks’ vital Championship away game against second placed Exeter.

There are a number of Osprey’s Academy players in the Aberavon squad. All apart from one have played for the senior Ospreys side and Ashley Beck is the youngest player (17years 222 days) to have played in the Celtic (Magners) league. The club has several Wales 7s players, including the captain Chris Davies, but they are currently on tour in Wellington N.Z. and Las Vegas. Outside half Jamie Davies has scored over 3,300 points for the team since his first appearance in 1996 and No.8 Richard Morris has played over 430 games and scored 142 tries since joining Aberavon. Two current players, lock Chris Gittins and No.8 Richard Morris have had invitations to play for the Barbarians.

The British & Irish Cup has not quite hit the headlines or yet attracted the rugby supporting customers since its introduction at the start of this season. It will have to be seen whether interest picks up in this second round of the competition.

Aberavon is located between Cardiff and Swansea and was once a municipal borough. It is now merged, however, with Port Talbot. The stunning Aberavon sea front has two miles of flat promenade, a wide sandy beach with views across Swansea Bay to the Gower Peninsula.

The town’s rugby club was founded in 1876 with the encouragement of Sir Sydney Bass, proprietor of the Mansal Tinplate Works. Its finest era was in the mid nineteen- twenties, when the club won the Welsh Club Championship for four successive seasons, 1923-24 to 1926-27. During the 1925-26 campaign the club boasted no less than eight Welsh internationals.

Whatever the outcome on Friday, this will be a welcome return of another famous traditional fixture and one which members and supporters will be following closely even if the Friday evening timing prevents much of a travelling Moseley support.

Directions  Click Here for map

Talbot Athletic Ground
Manor Street
Port Talbot
West Glamorgan
SA13 1AB

By road, Aberavon RFC is just 2 minutes from M4 Junction 40, while it is just a 5 minute walk from the Port Talbot Parkway railway station if arriving by train.

The railway station is on the main London Paddington to Swansea line and has regular trains. The ground is just a short walk from there. If coming by car/bus then parking is a problem next to the club, as it's in a residential area, but there are quite a few streets all around and a space can always be found within a short walking distance. It's also just off the M4 so is easy to find.



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