WRU Principality Premiership Launch, Pontypridd - Representatives of the teams in the 2012-13 WRU Principality Premiership at the launch at Pontypridd RFC Left to right - Sam Kiley of Swansea; Aled Williams of Neath; Gethin Robinson of Newport; Sam Williams of Aberavon; Jonathon Vaughan of Bridgend; Craig Hawkins of Llanelli; Dan Godfrey of Pontypridd; Jason Harries of Carmarthen Quins; Rob Nash of Cross Keys; Shaun Powell of Cardiff and Lloyd Phillips of Llandovery and Ross Wardle of Bedwas ©Huw Evans Picture Agency
Principality Premiership clubs ready for kick-off

The Principality Premiership kicks-off this weekend with all 12 teams in action on Saturday.

Arguably the tie of the opening weekend sees last year’s league champions Pontypridd take on SWALEC Cup winners Cross Keys.

Ponty travel to Pandy Park knowing they face a real challenge on the opening weekend against the side that finished sixth last year and beat them in the Cup final but coach Dale McIntosh is confident ahead of the game.

“Across the board we’ve got a stronger squad this year,” he said.

“We’ve got 32 players who will push for selection week in week out so selection is going to be tough.

Speaking of Cross Keys, McIntosh added: “They’re a club on the up and had a tremendous season last year so we’ll have to take our A game there and if we do that it will take a good side to beat us.

“If that side is Cross Keys then hats off to them.”

Ponty’s opponents are equally confident though with Cross Keys captain Rob Nash knowing his side will be marked men after their success last year.

“In previous years when I’ve played for Cross Keys people haven’t expected much from us so this year is going to be different,” Nash said.

“They know what to expect, they know we’re a good team so expectations are going to be a lot higher and teams are going to pick up their game against us.

“We have to adapt to that so we’ll have to be on the top of our game if we want to retain the cup and win the league.”

Elsewhere on the opening weekend, Bridgend take on Llanelli with Bridgend captain Jonathon Vaughan looking for revenge after two losses to Llanelli last year.

“Llanelli were one of the few teams that beat us twice last year so we really want to go out and get that win against them this year,” he said.

“Last season was our first back in the Premiership and we’ve done well to be within the 12 this year so our aim is to build on last year.

“This year we’re aiming to push forward and get into the top half of the table.”

In what promises to be another feisty clash, Neath welcome Swansea to The Gnoll while Bedwas take on Carmarthen.

After a mid-table finish last year, Cardiff will be looking for an improvement this year as they welcome Llandovery to Cardiff Arms Park.

“For Cardiff, eighth isn’t good enough and we’ve got to improve on that and we should be pushing for the top three at least,” said the Blue and Blacks captain Shaun Powell.

“I’m an ambitious player so I’m targeting every game we play. It’s a good starting block against Llandovery so hopefully we’ll push on from there.”

One side to look out for may be Aberavon who finished third last year and have added former Welsh international Mark Taylor and Craig Warlow to Simon King’s coaching staff. The Wizards take on Newport at the Talbot Athletic ground on Saturday.

Inspired by their new coaches, the Wizards are looking to play more of an expansive game and captain Sam Williams is hoping the new approach can see them claim some silverware.

“It’s definitely a year where we can win either the cup or the league,” he said.

“Craig Warlow and Mark Taylor are two great guys and we can only get better from them coaching us.

“We’ve been predominantly known for having a big pack but we’re really trying to open up our game and hopefully we’ll see some real benefits from it.

Please see below updated Principality Premiership Fixture List for the season which includes some venue and date changes.


Post a Comment