Welsh Conference set for expansion

The ninth season of the Welsh Rugby League Conference will kick off on Saturday 14th May and culminate with two Grand Finals on Sunday 14th August.

The Welsh Conference is the flagship competition of Rugby League in Wales and has created and produced a number of players who have since turned professional and won full Welsh caps such as Lloyd White, Elliot Kear, Aled James, Christiaan Roets and Steve Parry to name just a handful.

This season’s competition will again be split into two divisions, six teams in the Premier and five in the Championship including one new club, Bonymaen Broncos, who are entering at the lower level.

The top two teams in each division at the end of the regular season will go straight through to their respective Grand Final.

Promoted to this year’s Premier League are Torfaen Tigers who finished top of last year’s Championship table, while relegated to the Championship are 2009’s winners Blackwood Bulldogs who are going through a rebuilding stage.

Valley Cougars, last season’s champions, will enter their “A” (or second side) in the Premier as their first team is taking part in the Conference National while Newport Titans have dropped the “Newport” preface from their name as they have moved to Machen RFC.

NPT Steelers, who won last year’s Championship Grand Final, have chosen to remain in the Championship for 2011.

Wales Rugby League’s National Development Manager Mark Jones said: “We are really pleased at the make-up of the divisions and we expect this year’s competition to be the closest yet.

“We had two thrilling leagues last year with one of the most exciting Grand Finals ever between Bridgend Blue Bulls and Valley Cougars where the game could have gone either way.

“Plus in the inaugural year of the Championship, any two of the four sides could have got to the Grand Final before the last weekend of regular season matches.

“We are pleased to welcome Bonymaen Broncos into the Championship as it’s good to see open age Rugby League return to the Swansea area again after a five-year absence.

“It’s going to be another exciting summer and I urge people to support their grassroots club as this is where many full international players have started out.”

The teams in each division are as follows…

Bridgend Blue Bulls (Porthcawl RFC)
Cardiff Demons (St Albans RFC)
CPC Bears (Carmarthen Athletic RFC)
Titans RLFC (Machen RFC)
Torfaen Tigers (Pontypool United RFC)
Valley Cougars “A” (Nelson RFC)

Blackwood Bulldogs (Blackwood RFC)
Bonymaen Broncos (Bonymaen RFC)
Dyffryn Devils (Penybanc RFC)
Neath Port Talbot Steelers (Baglan RFC)
Tydfil Wildcats (Dowlais RFC)

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