1st XV Match Preview V Aberavon (Away) Tue 23/02/2010
BIG MATCH PREVIEW
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
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
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.
Here for map
Talbot Athletic Ground
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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