West Wales Raiders

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West Wales Raiders
Club information
Full name West Wales Raiders Rugby League
Colours Canberra colours.svg
Founded 2009 (as South Wales Scorpions)
Website http://www.raidersrugbyleague.co.uk/
Current details
Ground(s)
Chairman Andrew Thorne
Coach Phil Carleton
Captain Connor Farrer
Competition League 1
Rugby football current event.png Current season

West Wales Raiders (Welsh: Dynion Haearn De Cymru) are a professional rugby league club based in Llanelli, Wales, following a move from Merthyr Tydfil. They play in League 1, the third tier of rugby league in the United Kingdom. The club was formed in 2009 as South Wales Scorpions, initially playing at The Gnoll in Neath before spells at Caerphilly, Mountain Ash and Maesteg.[1][2][3][4] The club was rebranded to Ironmen to coincide with the move to Merthyr Tydfil in 2017; in July 2017 it was announced that following a takeover the club would be relocating to Llanelli and play their remaining home matches at Stebonheath Park. From 2018 they are known as West Wales Raiders, the name of the club based at Stebonheath.


History[edit]

2006-2008: Origins[edit]

Many professional and semi-professional Welsh teams played rugby league in the otherwise English competitions since the formation of the Northern Union in 1895, the latest attempt to expand the game to South Wales began when the Crusaders joined the National League Two in 2006. The club was initially based in Bridgend.

The idea of a second professional side in Wales was discussed before the Celtic Crusaders had even played a game, the Crusaders' plan was to help a Rugby League Conference Welsh Premier club join the National Leagues to act as a feeder club if Crusaders reached Super League.[5] The idea was also talked about in mid-2009 when Rugby Football League decided that Super League Reserves would be turned into an under-20 competition, a move that could have halted the development of rugby league players in the area after they turned 21 years old.

The formation of the Scorpions was accelerated after the Crusaders left South Wales and moved to Wrexham F.C.'s Racecourse Ground.[4] South Wales RLFC were formed by a consortium of businessmen led by Phil Davies in late 2009. They were accepted into Championship One the third tier of British rugby league for the 2010 season.

2009-2015: South Wales Scorpions[edit]

Several suggestions for a team moniker were made by various people, the club had a poll among fans online to choose between the various options. Scorpions proved to be the most popular choice with Crusaders just beaten into second place, on 22 December 2009, the club formally adopted the name South Wales Scorpions RLFC. An updated version of the logo was released in February 2010 following feedback.[6]

The initial badge in 2009

The initial batch of players were selected from an open trial plus a few signings from other clubs, some players were dual-registered with Crusaders RL and had played for the Crusaders reserves. Before a ball had been kicked, the club celebrated its first international players, Loren Quick and Lewis Reece, who played for Wales and Great Britain at under-18 level. Anthony Seibold, who had been an Assistant Coach at Crusaders, was the first head coach.

The Scorpions' first ever competitive game was against Workington Town on 28 February 2010, who also provided the competition for Celtic Crusaders' first match in the 2006 National League 2 competition, the Scorpions won this encounter 22–20, in front of a crowd of over 500 at the Gnoll; with stand-off Lloyd White, on a months loan at South Wales from Crusaders, landing the crucial penalty goal to secure victory. The team went on to finish sixth in the table and made the play-offs. Seibold returned to Australia at the end of the season.

Wales Rugby League, agreed to take over the running of South Wales Scorpions for the 2014 season after Phil Davies decided to step down. Professional rugby league returned to the Bridgend county borough as Scorpions moved to Maesteg RFC,[7] this move however would only last a single season as at the end of the season the club announced it would be moving to ground share with Mountain Ash RFC at Parc Dyffryn Pennar.[8]

2016-present: Ironmen and West Wales[edit]

In 2016 South Wales Scorpions played their home matches at Virginia Park the home of Caerphilly RFC, their final match of the season was played at Blackwood RFC due to a damaged playing surface in Caerphilly.

South Wales rebranded as South Wales Ironmen for the 2017 season as the club moved to Merthyr Tydfil, the town of Merthyr Tydfil was, at one time, the largest producer of iron in the world.

In July 2017, it was announced that after a takeover by Andrew Thorne, owner of amateur club West Wales Raiders Rugby League, the club would play the rest of their home games for the 2017 season at Stebonheath Park, Llanelli and that from 2018 the club will be known as West Wales Raiders and will be based permanently in Llanelli.[9]

In April 2018, the club were on the receiving end of a record winning score and losing margin when they lost 0-144 to York City Knights, the previous highest scoring game was in November 1994 when Huddersfield Giants beat Blackpool Gladiators by 142-4, the losing margin was also equalled the next day in 1994 by Barrow Raiders who beat Nottingham City 138-0.

2018 Results[edit]

24/02/2018 Bradford Bulls 82 West Wales Raiders 6 Lost Att.1501 Cup

11/03/2018 Workington 74 West Wales Raiders 6 Lost Att.613

30/03/2018 West Wales Raiders 6 North Wales Crusaders 54 Lost Att.306

07/04/2018 London Skolars 76 West Wales Raiders 8 Lost Att.198

15/04/2018 Whitehaven 84 West Wales Raiders 6 Lost Att.401

29/04/2018 York City Knights 144 West Wales Raiders 0 Lost Att.1089

06/05/2018 Bradford Bulls 124 West Wales Raiders 0 Lost Att.3298

13/05/2018 West Wales Raiders 18 Doncaster 70 Lost Att.188

19/05/2018 West Wales Raiders 0 Oldham RLFC 74 Lost Att.424

27/05/2018 Hunslet 86 West Wales Raiders 0 Lost Att.415

03/06/2018 West Wales Raiders 20 Newcastle Thunder 82 Lost Att.272

09/06/2018 West Wales Raiders 12 Hemel 48 Lost Att.319

17/06/2018 Keighley Cougars 94 West Wales Raiders 0 Lost Att.470

23/06/2018 West Wales Raiders 6 Whitehaven 66 Lost Att.296

30/06/2018 West Wales Raiders 12 London Skolars 62 Lost Att.224

Squad[edit]

West Wales Raiders 2018 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches


Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 5 February 2018
Source(s): 2018 Squad Numbers

Honours[edit]

League

  • Play offs 2010

Records[edit]

Team records[edit]

*Biggest defeat:

144-0 v. Balmain colours.svg York (at Bootham Crescent, 29 April 2018)

*Biggest victory:

70-16 v. Newcastle Thunder at Neath in first season as South Wales Scorpions

*Best season The initial season saw the South Wales Scorpions record nine league victories and qualify for the play offs.

*Record home attendance 1025 against North Wales Crusaders at Cardiff Arms Park

Social Media / Forums[edit]

Independent RL Fans Forum on Sportnetwork (Scorpions/Ironmen/Raiders) This site contains all the results and attendances since the formation of the club plus up to date fixtures and results for 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "South Wales club to join Championship One". Rugby Football League. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Green light for new Welsh club". Press Association. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Wales online
  4. ^ a b "New rugby league club South Wales gets the green light". BBC. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Crusaders & Salford win licences". BBC. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "3D images of the kit". South Wales Scorpions. 5 February 2010. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "South Wales Scorpions Relocate to Maesteg". Wales Online. 
  8. ^ "Scorpions move to Mountain Ash". South Wales Scorpions. October 1, 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. 
  9. ^ "New owners for South Wales Ironmen". Wales Rugby League. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.