Fiona Haggerty had been looking for a team in the Bridgend area. A former Welsh squad member, she hadn't played for a club since Swansea Uplands. This season she will be one of the veterans leading the way for Bridgend Athletic RFC.
Starting this season, Bridgend Athletic RFC will field four female teams. Building on the success of Sally Ganner's Under 13 and Under 16 programs, this year will see a senior women's team enter Division II and an Under 19's team playing 7's and 10's matches. Ganner, who has stepped down as the league officer for the Under 16's in South Wales to concentrate on the Bridgend team feels that it was merely a natural progression to field four sides. The young girls wanted to stay together.
The fact is, Bridgend women who were looking to play-either returning to the sport or just beginning had little choice of clubs nearby. Travel time and expenses made it difficult to commit to other clubs.
Now there will be a team located in the center of town and easily accessible to outlying areas.
The club have been training together since Easter and it has proven effective to have the large numbers out. While the senior women have yet to play a game, they did manage a 10 aside squad game early in May-to get accquainted with each other. With the aid of some "liberal" refereeing from Jason Langdon, the women stretched their legs and had more than a few laughs. The under 13's and 16's that came out to support were treated to a fine, if not rusty display.
Langdon not only refs, but is a father and husband to rugby women at Bridgend Athletic. His wife Liz loved the game and decided that she had done enough watching-his daughter Kylie is an outstanding young player with the under 13's. It is a family affair at the club with many parents helping out and always there to support the teams.
The club attitude is inspirational. Coaches will be stressing skill development, fair play, commitment, fitness, and thinking rugby. For some it will be a clean slate but for everyone it will be a new team, new friendships and a new style-blending experience, young talent and desire. Coaching will be done by a team of experienced individuals- Ganner, Development Officer Geriant Evans, Steve Newton, Jon Thiel and Jen Thiel, this club is leading the way to the future in Wales. There is a team and a place for everyone here.
Pre-season training begins on August 6th at 6:45 p.m. at the Newbridge Fields for all ages interested. Experience not needed, positive attitude a must!
If you would like more information about Bridgend Athletic RFC please call Jen at 01656 862 662 or visit our web site at www.BridgendAthleticRFCwomen@groups.msn.com
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.