Wrexham Rugby Football Club
Bryn Estyn Road, Wrexham, LL13 9TY (UK)
01978 261215

CLUB NEWS 06-07
from

Chris Kilfoyle

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Match Reports

Latest News

Week Ending 13th July

Colwyn Bay 7's (23rd June)

After a disappointing performance in last months Caldy sevens competition Wrexham travelled to the Clowyn Bay Sevens determined to improve. Captained by players player of the year John Gill, Wrexham had trained hard over the past weeks to address the weaknesses highlighted in the Caldy completion.
Wrexham got off to a dream start against Colwyn Bay Nomads. A young team who struggled to cope with Wrexham's forward power which denied them any
meaningful possession. Wrexham ran in four tries via Tony Medcalf (2)and Ben Cheesbrough (2) and were greatly assisted by Adam Jones who despite his diminutive size, hurled himself into the game with the ferocity of a caged ocelot.
Wrexham next faced Rydal who showed some great ingenuity to defeat the Wrexham boys 38-7, Wayne Roberts try coming from a mistimed Rydal line out on their try line that fell straight into his hands. After this Wrexham were up against the hosts of the tournament. Wrexham put up a brave performance but were torn apart by Colwyn who ran in eight tries without reply.
Wrexham's next opponents were South Wales team Newport. In a close game Newport took an early lead and went on to win the match with five tries to Wrexham's three, scores coming from Keir Harding, John Gill and Wayne Roberts.
With one win from the pool games, Wrexham had qualified for the plate competition. Drawn against Colwyn Bay 2nds, Wrexham put on a display of champagne rugby, running in 9 tries including hat tricks for John Gill and Dave Thomas and scores from Dan Cheesbrough, Keir Harding, and Wayne Roberts.
In the final of the plate Wrexham had to face Newport again. This time Wrexham got off to an early lead. After a fantastic length of the field break Dave Thomas bafflingly managed to get held up on the Newport try line. Newport were penalised in the ensuing ruck and powerhouse Guy Bingham took the straight forward approach and barrelled over the line from the quick penalty. Wrexham scored thrice more through Dan Cheesbrough, Dave Thomas and John Gill before Newport hit back with three tries. Newport continued to press hard and with Harding persistently offside their frustration spilled over into violence and their scrum half was dismissed to the sin bin for emphatically stamping all over him. In sevens this punishment only lasts for two minutes and despite Wrexham defending valiantly, particularly James Jess on the wing, the disgraced scrumhalf returned to the pitch and in the final play of the game Newport scored a converted try to clinch the game.
Disappointed yet buoyed by the improvements evident on the field Wrexham can take many positives from their performance. The commitment and passion of those players who usually perform for the 2nd fifteen such as Adam Jones, Tony Medcalf and Dave Thomas suggests that they will be challenging hard for first team places. Dave Thomas in particular raised his game to put on a performance that won him his team mates vote for man of the tournament. One notable display of skill was in the game against Colwyn Bay seconds where Thomas mis-kicked the ball into a member of the opposition, immediately caught the rebound and sprinted
off to score under the posts. On the other end of the scale Peter Blakemore crowned an otherwise solid performance by winning the idiot of the tournament award. Against Colwyn Bay Blakemore was perceptive enough to see that the opposition defence were charging in too fast leaving a weakness behind for him to exploit. Eying the gap Blakemore deftly stepped inside and launched a precision punt straight into the face of team mate Guy Bingham.
Other notable performances came from Guy Bingham and Wayne Roberts, both of whom displayed a mobility and awareness of the game seldom seen in 19
stone forwards. Daniel Cheesbrough was at the heart of the majority of Wrexham attacks and with excellent vision and dynamic angles of running he cut a swathe through the opposition defence. Keir Harding displayed the energy and alertness you would expect from one whose daughter
Scarlett is less than a week old. Captain John Gill inspired with some fearsome tackling while Ben Cheesbrough and Tony Medcalf injected speed
into the side but were sadly sidelined through injury early in the tournament.
Llandudno emerged overall winners in the main competition defeating Colwyn in a tightly contested final. The Wrexham players extend their thanks to Colwyn Bay RFC for organising a thoroughly enjoyable weekend of rugby.

Week Ending 11th May

Caldy Sevens Tournament

On Sunday May 6th, a squad of 12 players from Wrexham entered the annual Caldy rugby sevens competition. The tournament has been running for over 50 years and has been won by Sale on the past 6 occasions.

Wrexham’s entry into the tournament got off to a shaky start, the squad took a severe blow when a number of quality youth players were injured in the clash with Jarvo’s elite 15 the previous day. The squad was also weakened by the unfortunate timing of John Gill’s child’s christening and the work commitments of other strong players such as John Roberts, Mike Ward and Robert Massam.

On Sunday morning with a reduced squad and some players who had professed their availability bewilderingly failing to arrive, a frantic bout of telephone calls began to find somebody, anybody who would play. The youth players’ contacts furnished the squad with a high calibre player from the likes of Gloucester. Fully staffed, Wrexham’s 12 man coalition of the willing heroically journeyed towards the darkening skies over the Wirral peninsula.

Wrexham had to lose their first three games to guarantee a place in the Bowl knock-out competition. With this in mind, Wrexham slipped to a narrow three tries to one defeat to Spooner AA, a charity invitation side of superior players from the North East. After this initial defeat, Wrexham faced a significantly stronger team in the form of Glasgow Hawks who had only recently won the Scottish Championship. The Glaswegians put four tries past a brave Wrexham team who looked dangerous with the ball in their hands but struggled with the defensive discipline that Sevens requires. Wrexham’s third pool game was against a mighty Leeds team. Again, Wrexham created a number of chances but slumped to a five tries to one defeat.

With their goal of securing a place in the Bowl competition decisively achieved, Wrexham needed only to win their next two games to secure a £50 prize. They were matched up against local rivals, Chester, who after a fearsome and closely fought battle managed to edge their way past Wrexham by the narrowest of 53 - 5 margins.

This was a tournament attended by high quality teams. While the players varied between seasoned internationals and upcoming young players, the common thread was that the vast majority of the participants were paid to play rugby. This aside, a full strength Wrexham team could have seriously competed with the quality of opposition the squad faced and it is a testament to the skills and determination of the players that attended that the defeats were not more overwhelming. Despite the lack of success on the pitch, the day was a great experience and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a cold and rainy bank holiday Sunday.

The players would like to extend their thanks to Wrexham Rugby Club, who financed the team’s entry into the competition. Special thanks also to Gwyn and Dave who agreed to play with only 10 minutes notice of departure.

Within the squad, Andy Clutton added a significant amount of pace to the Wrexham back line while Jamie Morris made use of his excellent distribution skills. Ashley Wrathel’s physical presence at scrum half made a significant contribution to the possession that Wrexham were so starved of. Mike Jones’ handling and running skills are rarely seen in a strong forward, while Daniel Cheeseborough’s elusive running created a number of chances that Wrexham should have capitalised on. Despite injury, Tony Medcalf contributed an unconventional catching style and sudden burst of pace that set up Wrexham’s finest score of the tournament. Surprise of the tournament was Guy Bingham whose quick hands, untackleable bulk and sheer will to win overturned any number of players who thought themselves rather adept at the game. Man/men of the tournament is awarded to Guy Bingham, Peter Blakemore and Jason Gemmel. They gave their commitment to play weeks before the day of the tournament, despite knowing that they were unlikely to figure in the first choice 7. Without their passion to play rugby and represent the club, the squad numbers would have necessitated withdrawal from the event. They made it possible for us to compete and the squad and the club owe them a great deal.

Additional thanks to Beth the Physio who flew back from Spain the night before in order to attend to our breaks and sprains.

A big cheer to all those who made the day possible. There will be another Sevens tournament in Colwyn Bay on June 23rd. Anyone wishing to play, please contact John Gill who will be organising the squad.

Old News

Week Ending 4th May

WREXHAM YOUTH V COBRA YOUTH

Wrexham Youth take on Cobra from Mid Wales at Bryn Estyn Road in a top of the table clash in the North Wales Youth Division Two Championship on Wednesday evening 2nd May. (k.o.7.00pm).

League leaders Wrexham have a three point advantage over the visitors and both clubs have still one more game to play, Wrexham’s at home to Abergele on Wednesday evening 9th May while Cobra will take on Harlech at their ground in Meifod this Saturday.   

A win for Wrexham on Wednesday will deliver their first Championship since the Seventies and as much support as possible is requested by coaches Ian Morris, Rob White, Jeff Jones and Stuart Bellamy to boost their young players for what promises to be a terrific match.

Week Ending 13th April

DENBIGH 1STS V WREXHAM 1STS

Wrexham visit Denbigh for their last game of the season and hope to gain some reward for the dogged resistance and enterprise which they have shown against the top Division Four North sides in recent weeks (k.o.2.30pm).

The home side are involved in a desperate battle with Pwllheli and Newtown to avoid the drop to Division Five North alongside already relegated Wrexham. Home advantage makes Denbigh favourites to overcome Wrexham this time but they will recall that they lost by 10-24 at Bryn Estyn Road just before Christmas, current number eight Keir Harding notching two of Wrexham’s four tries.

CAERNARFON YOUTH V WREXHAM YOUTH – NORTH WALES YOUTH CUP SEMI-FINAL

Wrexham, current leaders of North Wales Youth Division Two, have already claimed the scalps of Mold and Denbigh in this competition and would dearly love to meet Nant Conwy in the final. First, however, they must defeat Caernarfon who are in 6th place in Division One but appear to be finishing strongly after a poor start to their season.

Wrexham warmed up for this semi-final with a superb 44-20 away victory over their league rivals Cobra last week and will be able to field their strongest squad with no injury problems reported. The game kicks off at Caernarfon’s ground at The Morfa at 2.30pm.

RUTHIN 2NDS V WREXHAM 2NDS

Wrexham can retain the North East Wales Premiership if they can overcome Ruthin Seconds in their last league game of the season at Cae Ddol (k.o.2.30pm).  The Clwyd Valley side are, however, level on league points with Wrexham but slightly behind on points scored difference. They will claim the title themselves if they can repeat the sparkling form which they showed at the same venue last week when overcoming Mold Seconds by 21-17.

Week Ending 6th April

WREXHAM 1STS V NANT CONWY 1STS

This Saturday, Wrexham take on Nant Conwy at Bryn Estyn Lane in what is expected to be a one sided Division Four North contest with the Conwy Valley side being clear favourites to win (kick-off at 2.30pm).

Nant’s defeat at Caernarfon last week put paid to their last chance of catching champions Mold, but they still need a win to consolidate their second place in the table while bottom placed Wrexham, already relegated to Division Five North, will have only pride to play for.

Prop Guy Bingham will celebrate his half century of senior games since joining Wrexham from Rhos three years ago. He will line up in the front-row alongside prop Rob Thatcher and Wrexham’s brightest North Wales prospect for many years, hooker John Gill.

Gill scored Wrexham’s only try when his side was beaten by 49-7 at Llanrwst last December and has been in fine form throughout this season. Top try scorer Kerry Powell is set to start the game in the back-row with Keir Harding, another leading try scorer, at number eight.    

COBRA YOUTH V WREXHAM YOUTH

Wrexham, leaders of North Wales Youth Division Two by only one point, face a difficult task at Cobra in Mid Wales. Victory will keep them just head of the chasing pack of Machynlleth, Bala and Cobra, but a rare defeat could damage their Championship ambitions at a very important stage of the season (k.o.2.30pm).  

WREXHAM 2NDS V ABERGELE

Wrexham Seconds take on Abergele Firsts at Bryn Estyn Lane in what looks like an evenly balanced North East Wales Premiership contest. The home side dropped to second place after being defeated at Mold at fortnight ago and fourth placed Abergele will be pressing hard for a crucial away win (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM THIRDS V COLWYN BAY 2NDS

This North East Wales Championship game was cancelled during the week because Wrexham found themselves with insufficient numbers to field a side.

Week Ending 30th March

WREXHAM 1STS V MOLD

Mold, top of Division Four North, can wrap up this season’s Championship if they can overcome bottom of the table Wrexham at Bryn Estyn Road. Things look bleak for our lads as they strive to win their three remaining games to avoid relegation to North Wales’ Second Division, but it is a derby game and who knows what may happen (k.o.2.30pm).      

WREXHAM YOUTH V BALA YOUTH

Championship leaders Wrexham Youth take on third placed Bala Youth at Bryn Estyn Road in a crucial top of the table game in North Wales Youth Division Two. There is only one point between the sides and this should prove to be a titanic struggle as the season nears its climax (k.o.2.30pm).      

Week Ending 23rd March

NEWTOWN 1STS V WREXHAM ISTS

Wrexham return to league action following the Six Nations break with a visit to Newtown who need only one more victory to prevent themselves being relegated this season (k.o.2.30pm).

It is a must win game for the visitors who are rooted at the bottom of Division Four North. Only four games remain, and two of those will be against the top two in the division, Mold and Nant Conwy, who will grant Wrexham no favours as they race for the title.

Coach Russell Penrhyn Jones’ plans have been boosted by the availability for this match of some of his best Under 19 players. Several of them took part in an evening warm-up game at Ruthin last Thursday and helped their side to score 37 points, just short of the home team’s total of 39.

Wrexham’s previous visit to Newtown’s Mid Wales stonghold in 2004 resulted in a resounding 8-41 defeat for the visitors, but they fared better in the previous season when they overcame the home side by 26-18. With a good blend of youth and experience in the side this time, Wrexham could produce the victory that would haul them off the bottom of the table.  

MOLD 2NDS V WREXHAM 2NDS

Wrexham Seconds visit Mold Seconds for a top of the table contest in the North East Wales Premiership. Although Wrexham top the table thanks to their better scoring rate, both sides are unbeaten and Mold are bound to be favourites on home ground (k.o.2.30pm).

RHYL SECONDS V WREXHAM 3RDS

Wrexham Thirds, in mid table in the North East Wales Championship, visit bottom club Rhyl Seconds (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM YOUTH TEAM

There is no youth team game on Saturday.      

Week Ending 16th March
Wrexham Firsts, not scheduled to play their next game until Saturday 24th March when they visit Newtown for battle against relegation, will aim to keep themselves in trim with a visit to Ruthin on Thursday evening. Coach Russell Penrhyn Jones has selected a mixture of regular squad members and up and coming young players who will be included in the senior side next season (k.o.7.00pm).

Week Ending 9th March

NORTH EAST WALES PREMIERSHIP

WREXHAM 2NDS     31             LLANGOLLEN     10

Wrexham Seconds stayed top of the North East Wales Premiership after a hard earned victory over visitors Llangollen. The home try scorers were number eight Wayne Roberts (2), wing James Jess, prop Chris Phillips and lock Rhodri Ifans while wing Sion Lloyd-Jones kicked 3 conversions. Hooker John Gill was the undisputed Man of the Match while replacement wing Dave Thomas delivered another good performance.

NORTH EAST WALES CHAMPIONSHIP

RHOS 2NDS     17             WREXHAM 3RDS   32

Wrexham Thirds hauled themselves off the bottom of the North East Wales Championship with a fine second-half performance at Rhos after trailing by 3-8 at half-time. All of the visitors’ points came from their threequarters, centres Paul Price and Andy Lee and wings Peter Blakemore and Jason Reano notching tries while outside-half John Mann kicked 2 penalties and 3 conversions. John Mann and lock Tim Roberts were in outstanding form for the victors.

WREXHAM YOUTH    41             BANGOR    10

Wrexham Youth met some stiff resistance from Bangor in their non-league game at Bryn Estyn Road, but they played well in parts and fully deserved their 12th victory of the season. Wing Rob Massam claimed a hat-trick of tries, lock Rhys Jones added a brace of touchdowns while centre Danny Roth and flanker Rob Moore crossed for a try apiece. Outside-half Jamie Morris (2) and Danny Roth kicked the conversions, while wing Mike Evans-Jones deserved credit for several jinking runs which unlocked the Bangor defence and led to scores.     

NEXT FORTNIGHT

Wrexham Youth, who play Llangefni Youth in a North Wales Youth Division Two game at Bryn Estyn Road on Saturday 10th March (k.o.1.00pm) will be the only Wrexham team in action on a Saturday over the next fortnight. Head Coach Russell Penrhyn Jones is preparing to send a new-look First Team to play Ruthin in midweek friendly under floodlights before full fixtures for all sides resume on Saturday 24th March.     

Week Ending 2nd March

WREXHAM 2NDS V LLANGOLLEN                                                                                                                                                                           

Wrexham, unbeaten leaders of the North East Wales Premiership, face fifth placed Llangollen at Bryn Estyn Road (k.o.2.30pm).

RHOS 2NDS V WREXHAM 3RDS                                                                                                                                                                                          

Wrexham Thirds, currently bottom of the North East Wales Championship, visit Ponciau Banks to play their local rivals who are in mid table (k.o.2.30pm).  

WREXHAM YOUTH V BANGOR YOUTH                                                                                                                                                                   

Wrexham Youth, originally booked to play Llangefni, play Bangor instead in a friendly at Bryn Estyn (k.o.2.30pm). The Llangefni league game has been rearranged for Saturday 10th March with a 1.00pm k.o. at Wrexham prior to the Italy v Wales Six Nations crunch game. 

NORTH WALES U17's ACADEMY
Congratulations go out to Daniel Sissons who has been invited to run out for the North Wales u17's academy side against Yorkshire on Sunday at Barnsley.
Daniel is one of the 4 Wrexham boys currently training with the NW u16's squad but the only one included at U17 level

Week Ending 24th February

WREXHAM ISTS – NO GAME

WREXHAM YOUTH V MACHYNLLETH YOUTHWrexham, top on North Wales Youth Division Two, face third placed Machynlleth at Bryn Estyn Road. It’s a very tight Championship race this year and Wrexham need to win to keep their promotion challenge on track. They kick-off at the earlier time of 2.00pm to allow Machynlleth time to get back to their home town in time to watch Wales play France in Paris (k.o.8.00pm).

WREXHAM 2NDS V SHOTTON STEEL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Wrexham, currently lying in third place and unbeaten in this year’s North East Wales Premiership play-offs, take on bottom club Shotton Steel at Bryn Estyn Road (k.o.2.30pm).

CONGRATULATIONS to John gill on being selected in the North Wales Squad to play Brecon on Friday 23rd Feb. The game will be played at Llangefni Rugby Club as part of the clubs celebrations to officially switch on their floodlights. KO 6.30pm.

Week Ending 17th February

WREXHAM 1STS V CAERNARFON 1STS
Wrexham, second from bottom of Division Four North and with only five games left to stave off relegation, will hope for a return to good form when they take on third placed Caernarfon at Bryn Estyn Road tomorrow (k.0. 2.30pm).

The selectors have made a number of changes, some enforced, but the have been heartened by the return from injury of skipper Mike McLeod who will reclaim his regular second-row berth. Top scoring forward Keir Harding is back at number eight, Nick Perrin comes in at prop in place of the unavailable Rob Thatcher, and there is a First Team debut on the flank for 18 year old Glen Bellamy who steps up from the successful Youth Team.

In the backs, the Youth Team’s top try scorer, Rob Massam, makes his long awaited debut on the right wing. 18 year old Andy Clutton is preferred at full-back. Simon Williams takes over in the centre from Kerry Powell who is unavailable due to work commitments.

Although Caernarfon possess a good home record and defeated Wrexham by 40-6 at The Morfa last October, they have not always travelled well to North East Wales as witnessed by their 12-29 and 8-57 defeats at Bryn Estyn Road in previous encounters this decade. Wrexham narrowly lost their last game at Llandudno a fortnight ago but may make amends tomorrow if form players like flanker Mike Ward and hooker John Gill can combine with the new young players to breach the Caernarfon defence.

DENBIGH 2NDS V WREXHAM 2NDS
Wrexham Seconds take a strong side including James Jess, Rhodri Ifans and Paul Allen to Denbigh Seconds for their North East Wales Championship game tomorrow. Wrexham’s previous visit to Denbigh last September resulted in a 20-17 success and they will have to perform again at their best to keep their title ambitions on track (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM 3RDS V ABERGELE 2NDS
The Thirds defeated Abergele Seconds by 56-0 when the sides met at Bryn Estyn Road last September and they hope to repeat that impressive victory when they meet again in a North East Wales Premiership game tomorrow afternoon (k.o.2.30pm).

Week Ending 2nd February

LLANDUDNO 1STS V WREXHAM 1STS
Flanker Rhodri Ifans is set to make his 75th senior appearance when Wrexham visit Llandudno tomorrow for a Division Four North contest that they need to win to stop themselves sliding further towards relegation (kick-off at 2.30pm).

Rhodri joined the club at the start of 2003 and played for Wrexham in the back-row at Nant Conwy, his side eventually losing by 6-23. He has also played at number eight and lock, and was a prominent member of the pack while helped Wrexham to secure a promotion place from Division Five North last season.

Skipper Mike McLeod is still expected to be missing as he recovers from a shoulder injury, and that should allow Phil Williams to keep his place in the second-row of the pack.

Wrexham were whitewashed by 75-0 when Llandudno visited Bryn Estyn Road during a bad spell in October. Llandudno have lost some of that early season form and have suffered five league defeats to leave them in a secure sixth place in the table, but they remain favourites to come out on top tomorrow.

DENBIGH YOUTH V WREXHAM YOUTH
Wrexham’s Under 19’s, who were shock 22-21 conquerers of former North Wales Youth Cup winners Mold four weeks ago, hope to go one stage further when they visit Denbigh in the second round of the competition tomorrow. It is another tall order against a side that is a division above them in the league, but Wrexham will approach this cup game with nothing to lose and all to gain (k.o.1.30pm).

WREXHAM 2NDS V FLINT
Wrexham Seconds play the first game in the new North East Wales Championship play-offs when Flint visit Bryn Estyn Road. Although Flint were hammered by 67-0 at the same venue just after Christmas, tomorrow’s encounter should be a much closer one (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM 3RDS v CAER BORDERERS
Caer Borderers visit Wrexham Thirds for the opening game in the new North East Wales Premiership play-offs. Wrexham beat the same opponents by 34-12 in early December and will be hoping to start their campaign with a similar result tomorrow (k.o.2.30pm).        

WREXHAM YOUTH V PWLLHELI YOUTH

Wrexham Youth Team, leaders of the North Wales Youth League Division Two, take on fifth placed Pwllheli at Bryn Estyn Road tomorrow afternoon in a game that they must win to keep second placed Bala at bay. The corresponding game at Pwllheli last October resulted in a 22-22 draw after a great Wrexham fightback, and they hope to go one better this time and produce a decisive victory (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM SECONDS AND THIRDS

The Seconds and Thirds, experiencing a break in fixtures before the North East Wales Championship and Premiership play-offs start next week, are looking for a friendly away fixture and are likely to combine their resources.

Week Ending 26th January

WREXHAM 1STS V PWLLHELI 1STS

Wrexham take on Pwllheli in a bottom of Division Four North battle at Bryn Estyn Road tomorrow, but will miss the formidable presence of skipper Mike McLeod who has been forced out through injury (kick-off at 2.30pm).    

Lock Phil Williams, who had a good game at Bala last week, takes over from McLeod in the second-row and will be partnered by Mike Jones. The back-row has been strengthened by the return from injury of Keir Harding at number eight, Rob Thatcher returns at prop and John Roberts will take over from Mike Powell at scrum-half with Simon Williams filling the vacancy in the centre.

Coach Russell Penrhyn Jones will be looking for a top performance against bottom club Pwllheli who have managed only two wins and a draw this season. One of those victories came at the expense of Wrexham, who lost by a record 10-75 score at Pwllheli last October, and the other was a close fought 19-13 home success over Denbigh.

Despite last week’s lack lustre display at Bala where we lost by 5-25, Wrexham have changed dramatically since that humiliating day in October when we conceded no less than eleven tries. Only 9 members of that team will start tomorrow’s game and, with the strengthening of the back-row through the return of Keir Harding and Carl Turner ready to come on as a substitute, we should deliver a much better performance tomorrow.

It should not be forgotten, however, that Pwllheli have enjoyed a good record at Bryn Estyn Road over the years and have suffered some close defeats against fine sides like Nant Conwy this season. Wrexham will return to the bottom of the table if they falter tomorrow, but if they can emerge triumphant and other results in the division go their way, they may ease to safety by climbing above Newtown and Denbigh.

Week Ending 19th January

BALA ISTS V WREXHAM 1STS

Wrexham’s battle to avoid relegation will resume at Bala tomorrow with coach Russell Penrhyn Jones looking for a fourth successive win (k.o. 2.30pm).

Backs John Roberts and Mike and Kerry Powell have recovered from knocks picked up in the hard fought success against Colwyn Bay last Saturday, but number eight Carl Turner is unavailable. His place will be filled by moving lock Mike Jones to the middle of the back-row with Phil Williams slotting into the second-row.

Prop Geraint Davies will start in the front-row for the first time this season and hooker Paul Allen will make a welcome return to the First Team squad by taking a place on the substitutes bench. Russell Jones reckons that Wrexham need to win three more games to avoid the drop back into Division Five and he will looking for a way to unsettle mid table Bala who were 25-5 victors at Bryn Estyn Lane last September.  

ABERGELE YOUTH V WREXHAM YOUTH

Wrexham visit Abergele tomorrow, determined to maintain the five point lead that they have established at the top of the North Wales Youth League Division Two. They will take a full squad and hope to introduce newcomer Daniel Sissons at some stage in the game (k.o. 2.00 –2.30pm).

WREXHAM 3RDS V RHYL 2NDS

Wrexham entertain Rhyl Seconds in the last game of their North East Wales Division ‘B’ Championship campaign. Although Andy Perrin’s side is only in fifth place at the moment, a win tomorrow and a favourable result elsewhere could still qualify them for the Championship play-offs that start in a fortnight’s time (k.o.2.30pm).

Week Ending 12th January

WREXHAM 1ST V COLWYN BAY 1ST (HOME)

While Mike McLeod will play his 200th 1st XV game for Wrexham tomorrow, the selectors have made one enforced change for Division Four North contest against high flying Colwyn Bay at Bryn Estyn Road. Carl Turner is recalled at number eight in place of Keir Harding who is forced out through illness (kick-off at 2.30pm).

Following consecutive victories over Denbigh and Ruthin, bottom placed Wrexham are now in a position to overtake fellow strugglers Pwllheli, and possibly Newtown and Denbigh – if they can defeat Colwyn Bay and the other clubs lose their games. Colwyn Bay, on the other hand, are locked in a battle with Caernarfon, Nant Conwy and Mold at the top of the table and need to win to keep up their momentum.

The Seasiders defeated Wrexham by 24-7 at Brookfield Road last September but, surprisingly, they haven’t appeared at Bryn Estyn Lane since 1988 when they were hammered by 37-0. Wrexham’s long spell in the Heineken League and then Northern Counties playing most of their rugby against South Wales opponents brought an end to regular fixtures between the two North Wales clubs.

That link has now been restored in Division Four North and Wrexham will be going all out tomorrow to repeat the good form which they have discovered under new coach Russell Penrhyn Jones. Amongst the replacements, Ashley Wrathall takes over from Simon Williams who is unavailable and Iwan Roberts is expected to add his ball carrying qualities to the side in the second-half.

WREXHAM YOUTH V HARLECH YOUTH (HOME)

North Wales Youth Division Two leaders Wrexham, being hard pressed by a chasing group of Machynlleth, Pwllheli and Cobra, need to replicate the excellent form which they displayed in beating Mold in the cup last week. Full-back Andy Clutton suffered a knee injury last Saturday and will be out for some time but Wrexham should still have enough firepower to avenge the 7-38 defeat which they suffered when fielding a weakened side at Harlech last September (k.o.2.30pm).

WREXHAM 2NDS V CORWEN (HOME)

Wrexham Seconds should complete their first double of the season in their North East Wales Division ‘A’ Championship game against Corwen at Bryn Estyn Road tomorrow. They are in second place in the table behind leaders Mold Seconds who have only to complete their remaining games to win the Championship, but Wrexham will be looking for a win to keep ahead of third placed Denbigh Seconds as they both head for the Championship play-offs. 

ABERGELE 1ST V WREXHAM 3RDS (AWAY)

The Thirds need a victory over Abergele Firsts to retain their fourth place in the Division ‘B’ Championship ahead of close challengers Shotton Steel and Rhyl Seconds. This would enable them to enter the Championship play-offs rather than the lesser Premiership play-offs that begin in three weeks time. 

Week Ending 6th January

Wrexham visit their old rivals Ruthin tomorrow for their first Division Four North contest of 2007,  and they will be hoping that they will be able to hold on to the improved form which helped them to defeat Denbigh just before Christmas (k.o.2.30pm).    

Keir Harding, who grabbed a brace of tries in that excellent victory over Denbigh, keeps his place at number eight in the pack while James Jess is given another run on the left wing.  Daniel Cheesbrough takes over at full-back from Simon Williams who takes a seat on the substitutes bench.  Ben Cheesbrough replaces his brother on the right wing.

Amongst the substitutes, it is good to see prop Geraint Davies warming up to make his first senior appearance of the season, he is joined on the bench by former Youth Team lock Phil Williams.  

When the two sides met at Bryn Estyn Road last September, Ruthin won by 25-13 and will be going all out to gain another success to help them climb out of their current mid table position.  Wrexham will be looking for another good performance in preparation for next week’s crunch home game against high flying Colwyn Bay.

The match of the day at Bryn Estyn Road tomorrow will be the North Wales Youth Cup first round game between Wrexham Youth and Mold Youth. Wrexham are league leaders of Division Two while Mold are currently in second place in Division One.  The home side is at full strength and it promises to be a highly competitive game (k.o.2.30pm).

Wrexham Seconds are without a game but claim the match points after Rhos Seconds pulled out of their scheduled North East Wales Division ‘A’ game at Ponciau Banks. However, the Thirds will be in action against a formidable Ruthin Second XV at Bryn Estyn Road in a Division ‘B’ league match (k.o.2.30pm).  

Week Ending 22nd December

The Wrexham selectors have rung the changes for this Saturday’s Division Four North league game against Denbigh at Bryn Estyn Lane, introducing Andrew Clutton at full-back for his first full debut and recalling Wrexham Second Team’s top try scorer Keir Harding at number eight (k.o.2.30pm). 

Skipper Mike McLeod, prop Rob Thatcher and lock Rhodri Ifans all return to the pack after being unavailable for the trip to Nant Conwy last week, while John Roberts is switched from scrum-half to centre, allowing Mike Powell to return at half-back alongside Richard Lloyd. Dan Cheesbrough is tried on the left wing. 

Denbigh have come out on top in all of the recent encounters between the two clubs, but they are struggling this season and are currently lying second from bottom in the league table with only two wins to their credit. Wrexham haven’t won a league game yet, but that may be about to change under the influence of new coach Russell Penrhyn Jones who is seeking to introduce more pace into Wrexham’s game.

With no Youth Team game this week, Russell has also been able to name the strong forward Glen Bellamy amongst his replacements. Centre Simon Williams is also ready to come on from the bench and this may give Wrexham’s strongest side for weeks the edge in the final stages of the game. A long awaited victory over Denbigh would be a great Christmas for the club and could sow the seeds for better things to come in 2007.

Wrexham Seconds visit Mold Seconds for a top of the table contest in Division ‘A’ of the North East Wales Championship. Mold are top of the table, Wrexham are in second place, both have 25 points while Mold have a game in hand (k.o.2.30pm).

Wrexham Thirds have a home game against Rhyl Seconds in Division ‘B’, with Wrexham, currently in fourth place in the table, needing to win this game to qualify for the Championship play-offs in 2007 (k.o.2.30pm).    

Nadolig Llawen!   

Week Ending 15th December

Wrexham Firsts visit Nant Conwy on Saturday afternoon, aiming to build on the passionate performance that they delivered against Mold, the Division Four North Championship leaders, at Chester Road last week (kick-off at 2.30pm).

Back-row forward Rhodri Ifans will reach a landmark in his career when he runs out to make his 70th senior appearance for his club. Coincidentally, Ifans made his debut for Wrexham when he played for them in their previous visit to Nant Conwy in September 2003, the visitors eventually losing by 6-23 after taking the lead with a Kerry Powell penalty.

Nant, former Division Four North champions, are currently in third place in the table, having moved up after a shaky start to the season with a hard earned 5-3 victory over second placed Caernarfon last week. They will be looking for another victory on home soil to keep up the pressure on Caernarfon and league leaders Mold.

Wrexham coach Russell Penrhyn Jones was heartened by the news this week that squad members Simon Williams and Ben Cheesbrough have recovered from long-term injuries and are available to bolster his side. They both scored for Wrexham Seconds in their demolition of Denbigh Seconds by 63-5 and Williams demonstrated his versatility by kicking two conversions.

Former First team skipper Mike Ward will have to pass a late fitness test after straining his back in last week’s match, and centre John Roberts may start a ban after being sent off against Newtown a fortnight ago. Otherwise, few changes are expected with top try scorer Scott Davies operating on the right wing and the versatile Kerry Powell probably starting in the back-row.

Wrexham Firsts have lacked a reliable kicker this season and have failed to register any score in their last two league games. Penrhyn Jones and his coaching team have been working hard to improve the attacking skills in the side, and they can expect to see some reward for their efforts this Saturday when Wrexham should push Nant all the way.      

Wrexham Seconds, who are currently occupying second place in Division ‘A’ of the North East Wales Championship, are due to take on Ruthin Thirds at Bryn Estyn Road. They are, however, also looking for a suitable replacement game as Ruthin Thirds have not been able to fulfil many fixtures this season (k.o.2.30pm).   

The Thirds visit North East Wales Division ‘B’ leaders Abergele Seconds, hoping to chip away at a five point difference between the sides (k.o.2.30pm).

Wrexham Youth Team have a top of the table clash at Newtown in a North Wales Youth Division Two game. Wrexham are the league leaders but the Mid Walians are only two points behind them and have been making up lost ground after being beaten 38-8 by Wrexham in the opening game of the season (k.o.2.30pm).      

Week Ending 8th December

This Saturday, Wrexham Firsts face their toughest challenge of the season when they visit champions and current league leaders Mold for a Division Four North contest (kick-off at 2.30pm).

It will be the first opportunity for new Head Coach Russell Penrhyn Jones to assess his players in what is expected to be a full blooded derby encounter with Mold aiming to maintain their top place in the division and Wrexham searching for their first league success of the season.

The clubs previously met at Chester Road in a North Wales Cup game last October and Wrexham played well in the first-half to trail by 8-11 at the break. Scott Davies gave the visitors an early lead with a scorching try, but Mold got on top in the second-half and eventually claimed a 47-8 success.  

Our previous visit to Mold for a league game was in April 2004 when things were a little closer and the hosts managed an 18-5 success. The last time that we defeated our local rivals was in April 2003 when we won by 18-15 at home with a team that included seven of tomorrow’s squad, including skipper Mike McLeod, Dean Griffiths, Kerry Powell and Dan Cheesbrough.

Assistant coach Gareth Noon, who has come back from Chester to help Russell Penrhyn Jones transform Wrexham into a winning side again, was also in the side that last defeated Mold. Tomorrow, he will be working hard with our other assistant coaches Kevin Powell, Dennis Weston and Richard Lloyd to prepare the side with an eye also on next week’s league game at Nant Conwy.

Wrexham Seconds, who are currently occupying third place in Division ‘A’ of the North East Wales Championship, take on Denbigh Seconds at Bryn Estyn Road. Denbigh are in second place with an almost identical record to Wrexham’s and therefore tomorrow’s game should be a tremendous tussle (k.o.2.30pm).    

The Thirds have it all to do when they visit Llangollen for a Division ‘B’ contest tomorrow. Llangollen are in second place behind leaders Abergele and are five points ahead of Wrexham who will be heartened by their 34-12 victory over Caer Borderers last week (k.o.2.30pm).

Wrexham Youth Team have been looking for a replacement game all week after Cobra had to withdraw from their scheduled league game at Wrexham, six of their players having to appear in a school play and two more attending a funeral. If no game is forthcoming, the 18 year olds in this successful side will get a chance to play for the Seconds and Thirds.

Week Ending 3rd November

The autumn rugby internationals start with Wales playing Australia on Saturday and, if Wrexham coach Kevin Whitehead can use the enforced break to instil some confidence into his side during the enforced break, then Wrexham may emerge as a much better side when league fixtures resume in December with the visit of Newtown.

Although Wrexham have failed to register a win so far this term, Newtown, Denbigh and Pwllheli are all struggling at the wrong end of the league table and will be vulnerable when they come to play at Bryn Estyn Road.

Week Ending 27th October

A mixture of Wrexham Seconds, Thirds and final year Youth Team players took on Birkenhead Park Thirds at home and claimed a fine 26-12 success. Tries came from Wayne Roberts (2), Keir Harding and skipper Jason Griffiths while Dan Bowen kicked 3 conversions. Half time score was 19-0 and there were promising senior debuts for Youth Team players Rob Massam, Andy Clutton and Sam Wright.

Wrexham, currently bottom of Division Four, will face an extremely difficult task when they take on the might of current league leaders Caernarfon at the Morfa on Saturday afternoon. The Cofis warmed up for this game with a crushing 55-17 victory over Bettws in South Wales last weekend and Wrexham will need all the power and inspiration of their skipper Mike McLeod to trouble the Gwynedd side (k.o.2.30pm).

Week Ending 20th October

On Saturday, Wrexham Firsts turn their attention to cup rugby when they visit Mold for a round one game in the Scottish Power Manweb North Wales Cup Competition. The visitors hope to have club captain Mike McLeod, who has been unavailable for 3 games, back in the side to strengthen the pack and prop Rob Thatcher will be given the opportunity to play against some of his former team mates (k.o.2.30pm).        

Week Ending 25th Sept

Wrexham RFC will hold it's AGM on Tuesday 22nd September at 7.00

 

 


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