The Full Wiki

Pontypridd RFC: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Pontypridd Rugby Football Club, known as Ponty, are a rugby union team from Pontypriddmarker, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Walesmarker, currently playing in the Principality Premiership, SWALEC Cup and the British and Irish Cup competitons.

Established in 1876, Pontypridd RFC play their home games on the banks of the River Rhondda, at Sardis Roadmarker, Pontypriddmarker, Rhondda Cynon Taf in Walesmarker, with their age-grade section playing at Taff Vale Park in Pontypridd, and Pontypridd High School Fields in nearby Cilfynydd.

Pontypridd RFC experienced a successful period during the mid-nineties under head coach, Dennis John, referred to as the club's "Golden Age", and saw a resurgence during the 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2002/03 seasons with the appointment of head coach, Lynn Howells. The transition to Regional Rugby in Wales in 2003 saw the downgrading of Pontypridd to a semi-professional team, followed by the eventual financial collapse of the Club , and subsequent demise of Pontypridd's "Celtic Warriors" region.

Pontypridd RFC have since refinanced and restructured, and, despite a mooted stadium sale, continue to be regarded as a beacon for rugby in the south Wales Valleysmarker.

Pontypridd RFC have produced numerous players of international calibre, and have long thrived on the 'unfashionable' club tag.

Club history

Early history

Pontypridd RFC are generally accepted to have been formed in 1876 by a number of young local men who had moved into the area during the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th Century. They were represented at a meeting in Tenbymarker in 1880 that would later lead to the formation of the Welsh Rugby Union in 1881 and had a player, Edward Treharne, named in the very first Welsh International side also in 1881, who also played for Cowbridge Grammar Schoolmarker as a student. Pontypridd supplied two more players to the Welsh team before the turn of the century, Tom Williams and Ernie George.

In their early days, Pontypridd RFC played their home games at Taff Vale Park in Treforestmarker, the current home of their junior section, before moving to the People's Park alongside the River Rhondda. However in 1908 they moved once more to a new home in Ynysyngharad Park in Pontypridd itself, where they would stay for 65 years.

1945 - 1989

Pontypridd have long been regarded as one of the more unfashionable Welsh clubs, and during this period were over-shadowed by the more prominent Welsh clubs, Llanelli, Swansea, Neath, Cardiff and Newport, known collectively as the Big Five. Players with Pontypridd often found it hard to break into the international team while at the club, meaning a number would leave for higher profile teams each season. Despite this the club were consistently successful, achieving a long line of top ten finishes in the unofficial Welsh league, a competition they won for the first time in the 1962/1963 season.

However the 1970s would bring Pontypridd its first period of real success. Following the redevelopment of the A470 trunk road near their home ground, the team moved to its current home of Sardis Road in Pontypridd in 1974. This move was immediately followed by success in the unofficial league championship, winning it in 1975/76, 1977/78 and 1978/79 whilst never falling from the top four for seven years under the captaincy of two of Pontypridd's greatest ever players - Bob Penberthy and Tommy David.

1990 - 2002

The 1990s saw a huge change in Welsh rugby, especially with the inauguration of the first official Welsh leagues in 1990. Pontypridd were placed in the top (first) division for that season and have never yet been out of the top-level in the Welsh game. They consistently finished in the top five, which was considered an achievement due to the stature and pedigree of the clubs they finished among. Third places in 1991/92, 1993/94 and 1995/96 plus a runner up finish to Cardiff RFC in 1994/95 was a promising return for the club.

In 1996 the club won its first official major honour, beating Neath RFC in the final of the Welsh Cup, a match still considered one of the best ever. They repeated this achievement again in 2002 and 2006. The following season (1997) saw them win the Welsh League, narrowly over the same opponents. Both of these successes were obtained by what many consider Pontypridd's best ever team, led by Nigel Bezani and including players such as Richie Collins, Neil Jenkins, Paul John and Dale McIntosh.

From then until 2003 Pontypridd consistently finished in the top five of the league but failed to challenge for top spot (and to qualify for the Heineken Cup - Europe's top tournament) as they struggled to cope with the added financial pressures of the newly professional game, losing a number of players to larger clubs and relying heavily upon their much admired youth academy system. However in 2003 the Welsh Rugby Union would change the game in Wales forever with the advent of Welsh Regional Rugby.

2003 - present

Celtic Warriors badge - 2003/04 season
Celtic Warriors badge - 2004/05 season (unplayed)
After much negotiation and rumour of a merger with local rivals Cardiff RFC, Pontypridd finally found themselves in a partnership with Bridgend RFC, forming the Celtic Warriors that would represent the whole of the South Wales Valleys region.

However financial difficulties at Pontypridd lead the team to sell its stake in the Warriors to Bridgend RFC benefactor Leighton Samuel and all games were moved away from Sardis Road before the club was controversially dissolved by the WRU in the summer of 2004.

They were then reformed as Ponty Rugby Ltd playing at a semi professional level in the newly formed Welsh Premiership and unpopularly placed under the umbrella of local rivals Cardiff Blues by the WRU, Pontypridd continue to be the top team in the Glamorganshire south Wales Valleys and are considered by many of their fans to be the Valleys' regional representative side, with Cardiff still perceived by the residents of the Valleys as rivals.

In 2005 Pontypridd were beaten finalists in the WRU Challenge Cup, narrowly losing to Llanelli 24-25, having been leading 24-8 with only 10 minutes remaining until a former Pontypridd player Neil Boobyer was brought into the game and helped turn them game around in Llanelli's favour.

The following year they would surpass their previous season's record as Saturday 6 May 2006 Pontypridd beat Neath 26-25 to win the WRU Challenge Cup (then called the Konica Minolta Cup, and currently called the SWALEC Cup after the sponsors of the tournament) in a well fought final at the Millennium Stadiummarker. Neath were pre-match favourites having recently secured the Welsh Premier league by a large points margin, and going into the game chasing a league and cup 'double'. This was a replay of the classic 1996 final, when Pontypridd had also stopped Neath RFC 'doing the double'.

17 May 2008 saw Pontypridd enter a repeat performance against Neath at the Millennium Stadium. The score, however, was not to be repeated, as Neath beat Pontypridd by 28 points to 22.

Despite remaining successful at the highest level attainable by a non-regional side, Pontypridd RFC has seen a huge loss in their fan base due to the disenfranchisement of Welsh rugby supporters in the Valleys over to the appointment of Cardiff Blues as their 'regional' team. Yet despite this, Pontypridd's hardcore support base remains one of the biggest club followings in Wales, with chants of "I will never be a blue" ringing out at matches alongside the more traditional "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole! Ponty! Ponty!"

Pontypridd RFC continue to earn plaudits for the incredible contribution they have made to International Rugby. Former Pontypridd players seen wearing the red of Wales in recent years include Gethin Jenkins, Kevin Morgan, Richard Parks, Michael Owen, Martyn Williams, Dafydd James, Mefin Davies, Brent Cockbain, Robert Sidoli, Sonny Parker, Ceri Sweeney, Jonathan Bryant, Ian Evans, Matthew Rees and Morgan Stoddart.

The 2009/10 season is the most high-profile since the inception of the semi-pro Premiership in 2003, with the commencement of the British and Irish Cup, a 24-team Cup competition comprising teams from Wales, England, Ireland and Scotland, and playing over five weekends during the Autumn international and Six Nations windows (with semi-finals and finals on April 24 and May 15 respectively).

Club shield

The club shield denotes the town of Pontypridd's famous arched bridge - once the largest single-span bridge in Europe - built by William Edwards in 1756 and known locally as the "Old Bridgemarker".

The chevrons are an interpretation of the ancient arms of Iestyn ap Gwrgant, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Morgannwgmarker. The de Clare family - Norman Lords of the Welsh Marches, under whose authority the ancient shire of Glamorganmarker was placed - used a similar design to Gwrgant's arms. Both sets of chevrons were once seen on the coat of arms of Mid Glamorgan County Council, in which the town of Pontypridd was situated prior to the Local Government Act of 1994.
An identical chevron design is now seen in the coat of arms of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, which superseded Mid Glamorgan.

The black and white colours are the team colours of Pontypridd RFC.


Pontypridd's most notable main sponsor was local company, Buy as you View. The company began life as Just Rentals in Tonypandymarker in 1976, and sponsored Pontypridd RFC from the early nineties until 2004. It employed numerous former players, including Neil Jenkins and Lee Beach and ran the Buy As You View Schools Rugby Initiative, working in partnership with Pontypridd RFC.

Pontypridd's main sponsor from 2004-2009 was Pontypridd-based environmental and waste management company, Egan Waste Services.

2009 saw Pontypridd-based company Amber Electrical become the club's main sponsors in a three-year partnership deal.

Club kit has been supplied by numerous firms, including Umbro, Hogger Sports, Cica, Rossco, Canterbury of New Zealand and Kukri Sports. Since 2005, Club kit has been supplied by Italian Sportswear manafacturers, Errea.


Major Honours

Western Mail Welsh Championship Champions - 1962/1963, 1975/1976, 1977/1978, 1978/1979

WRU Merit Table Champions - 1975/1976

WRU Merit Table Runners Up - 1977/1978, 1978/1979

Welsh Premier Division Champions - 1996/1997

Welsh League Runners Up - 1994/1995

Welsh Cup Champions - 1995/1996, 2001/2002, 2005/2006

Welsh Cup Runners Up - 1978/1979, 1994/1995, 1996/1997, 2004/2005, 2007/2008

Champions Challenge Cup Champions - 1997

European Rugby Shield Runners Up - 2001/2002

Welsh Leagues

Season Division Pos Played Won Drawn Lost
1990/1991 1 5th 44 30 2 12
1991/1992 1 3rd 47 35 0 12
1992/1993 1 5th 40 24 3 13
1993/1994 1 3rd 43 34 1 8
1994/1995 1 2nd 39 30 0 9
1995/1996 1 3rd 42 33 1 8
1996/1997 1 1st 37 29 0 8
1997/1998 1 3rd 37 24 3 10
1998/1999 1 4th 35 21 0 14
1999/2000 1 4th 33 10 2 11
2000/2001 1 6th 32 15 0 17
2001/2002 1 9th 36 20 0 16
2002/2003 1 6th 36 20 2 14
2003/2004 Premier 3rd 30 20 2 8
2004/2005 Premier 10th 32 17 1 14
2005/2006 Premier 3rd 30 21 0 9
2006/2007 Premier 4th 26 16 1 9
2007/2008 Premier 3rd 26 16 1 9
2008/2009 Premier 5th 26 16 2 8
2009/2010 Premier - - - - -

Team Management, Players & Former Players

Team Management

Pontypridd RFC have been led by a number of high-profile coaches since the 1980s, Clive Jones - a prominent figure in Treorchy RFC's 1993/94 Heineken League successes - was instrumental in ensuring Pontypridd's place in the top tier during the latter part of the eighties.

In 1992, Dennis John took over as head coach, assisted by former Pontypridd flanker, Lynn Howells, and led Pontypridd into what is widely regarded as their "Golden Age", with Ponty winning the Welsh Cup Final in the 1995/96 season, and winning the Welsh Premier League in the 1996/97 season.

With the departure of John in 1999, former Pontypridd and Wales flanker, Richie Collins became head coach, and while some significant scalps - notably a win over Heineken Cup winners Leicester in 2000 - came his way, his tenure in charge was short-lived.

In September 2001, Clive Jones rejoined Pontypridd as Director of Rugby, and had, by December 2001, brought Lynn Howells back from Cardiff, who then proceeded to marshall the club to become Principality Cup winners in May 2002 and guided the team to the final of the Parker Pen European Shield days later.The advent of Regional Rugby in 2003 saw Howells depart to become coach of parent-region, the Celtic Warriors, with former Pontypridd flanker, Justin Burnell filling the void.

Burnell's departure in 2004 was followed by the appointment of former Pontypridd flanker, Simon King who, along with assistant coach, former Pontypridd and Wales captain and scrum half Paul John, guided Pontypridd to the final of the Konica Minolta Cup in 2004/05, before winning it in 2005/06.

Paul John took over as head coach in at the commencement of the 2006/07 season, and, assisted by former Pontypridd and Wales back row, Dale McIntosh, led the club to the final of the Konica Minolta Cup in 2007/08.

Pontypridd RFC are currently coached by Paul John and Dale McIntosh. The Team Manager is former Pontypridd outside-half, Richard Langmead, and the Conditioning Coach is Darren Bool.

Notable former management staff


2009/10 Squad


Ins and Outs for 2009/10 season


International Sevens Players

Former players

Notable Former Players

See also :Category:Pontypridd RFC players

Notable Former Captains

Games played against international opposition

Year Date Opponent Result Score Tour
1979 26 September Loss 3-9 1979 Romania rugby union tour of Wales
1981 1 December Loss 3-6 1981-82 Australia tour of Britain & Ireland
1985 10 April Win 6-4 1985 Spain tour of Wales
1994 22 November Loss 3-9 1994 South African invitational
1995 4 November Win 31-13 1995 Fiji tour of Wales
1997 7 January Loss 13-15 1997 USA tour of Wales
1998 10 January Win 34-3 WRU Challenge Cup International Invitational
1999 23 January Win 52-10 WRU Challenge Cup International Invitational
1999 27 January Win 69-7 WRU Challenge Cup International Invitational
1999 18 August Win 20-6 1999 Canada tour of Wales

Pontypridd youth and junior teams

With the loss of their extremely successful Academy set up that was handed over to their Cardiff rivals by the WRU, Pontypridd RFC re-formed a Youth side in 2006, coached by Sean Oliver and Wayne Gristock (formerly Porth Harlequins RFC).

Starting in the bottom division of the Blues league, the side made notable progress that saw them punch well above their weight and earn the nickname the 'Upstarts', when after hugely successful first season that saw them promoted seven divisions to the BB League (Blues Second Division).

The following season saw the formation of a second Youth team who again had to start in the bottom league and were coached by former Pontypridd players Dai Legge and Mike Kelleher. By the end of the 2007/8 season both youth teams had won their perspective leagues outright and earned automatic promotion, with the senior youth now playing in the top division in only their third season since forming. Several youth players have gained notable honours, including representative honours with Welsh Crawshays and Welsh Schoolboys, with players in the Cardiff Blues Academy and several older players now training with Pontypridd RFC's senior team.

Behind this successful youth setup is the Pontypridd Mini & Junior Section that was formed in 1997, the section started out with just a handful of junior players and volunteer coaches, but has grown into one of the biggest and most successful junior sections in Wales. The section contains every age group from under 7's to under 16's, with the youth sides containing players under the age of 19; with almost 300 young players in their ever-swelling ranks. The section is hugely successful, winning dozens of tournaments and trophies each season, and competing successfully in international tournaments throughout Europe where they have won every foreign tournament they have entered.

At the commencement of the 2008/09 season, it was decided that both Senior and Junior Youth teams would merge, forming a large and capable new Pontypridd Youth section. The new season will see a single squad of thirty-five players being selected, playing in the 2008-09 RAF Youth League: Blues Region. The squad is coached by Wayne Gristock and Sean Oliver, and managed by Chris Kingsbury MBE.

See also

External links


  12. Smith (1980), pg 26.
  13. Smith (1980), pg 37.
  14. Smith (1980), pg 38.
  15. Thomas (1980), pg 225.
  16. Thomas (1980), pg 224.
  18. Warriors' buy-out 'mortal blow' BBC Online
  43. Club History
  44. Fiji Rugby


Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address