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South Wales Premiership

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Title: South Wales Premiership  
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South Wales Premiership

South Wales Premiership
Country  Wales
Founded 2003
Number of teams 8
Levels on pyramid 5
Promotion to National Conference League via application to RFL
Domestic cup(s) Challenge Cup
Current champions Torfaen Tigers
TV partners none

The South Wales Premiership is the league for amateur clubs in southern Wales. Previously it was part of the Rugby League Conference but became standalone in 2012.

History

The Rugby League Conference was founded in 1997 as the Southern Conference, a 10-team pilot league for teams in the South of England and English Midlands. It expanded into Wales for the first time in 2001 when Cardiff Demons joined the South West division.

After two years of just one club in South Wales, the RFL saw that it was time to expand, letting in six more open-aged sides to form the new Welsh Conference and Wales gained its own division for the first time.

The Premier Division were set up in 2005 for teams who had achieved a certain playing standard and where able to travel further afield to find stronger opposition. The new Premier Divisions included the North Premier, the South Premier, the Central Premier and the Welsh Premier.

The Welsh Premier division was split into two divisions East Wales and West Wales in 2006, though this decision was reversed for the following season.

The Welsh Conference Junior League began in 2009.

Due to the growth of the sport in Wales, in 2010 a separate Championship division was formed which would function at one tier lower than the present Premier division. This Championship division featured teams from South Wales, but another Championship division featuring teams from North Wales was meant to be contested, but it didn't materialise and a rugby league nines tournament was played instead.

The South Wales Rugby League Championship was given a re-structure following four West Wales clubs not fulfilling fixtures. Amman Valley Rhinos, Dinefwr Sharks, Swansea/Llanelli Dragons and West Wales Wild Boars were omitted and replaced with newly formed Dyffryn Devils.

In 2012 the league became a standalone South Wales Premiership and the lower Championship division was abolished.

Rugby League Conference Pyramid

2014

  • Aber Valley Wolves, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Cardiff Demons, Cardiff Spartans, Gwendraeth Valley Raiders, Newport Titans, Torfaen Tigers, Valley Cougars A

2013

  • Premier Division: Bonymaen Broncos, Borderer Boars, Cardiff Demons, Newport Titans, Torfaen Tigers, Valley Cougars. Bridgend Blue Bulls and Blackwood Bulldogs entered but failed to start the season. Borderer Boars failed to complete the season
  • South Wales Merit Table: Cardiff Demons B, Cardiff Spartans, Gwendraeth Valley Raiders, Torfaen Tigers B

2012

Teams

Club Founded Location RLC Honours
Bridgend Blue Bulls 2003 Porthcawl Welsh Premier: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Harry Jepson Trophy: 2003, 2005
Cardiff Demons 1997 Cardiff RLC South West: 2003
Welsh Shield: 2004
East Wales Division: 2006
Titans RLFC 2004 Machen Welsh Shield: 2005
Welsh Plate: 2009
Valley Cougars 2001 Nelson Welsh Premier: 2008, 2010
Blackwood Bulldogs 2006 Blackwood, Caerphilly Welsh Premier: 2009
Bonymaen Broncos Bon-y-maen, Swansea
Dyffryn Devils 2010 Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
Tydfil Wildcats Rugby League 2008 Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil
  • NB: Blackwood Bulldogs and Tydfil Wildcats failed to start the season. Cardiff Demons, Titans and Dyffryn Devils failed to complete the season.

Teams play each other on a home-and-away basis. Each Premier division then has its own play-off series to determine the champion with the five divisional winners entering the national play-offs. The winner of the national play-offs is awarded the Harry Jepson Trophy.

League standings

Current Teams 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Blackwood Bulldogs x x x 1st
Bridgend Blue Bulls 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Cardiff Demons x
CPC Bears x x x x x x x
Dinefwr Sharks 1 x x x x
Neath Port Talbot Steelers 2 x
Newport Titans x
Rumney Rhinos x x x x x x x
Swansea Valley Miners 3 x x x x
Torfaen Tigers 3rd x
Valley Cougars 4 1st
West Wales Wild Boars x x x x x x x
  • 1 competed as West Wales Sharks between 2006 and 2008
  • 2 competed as Aberavon Fighting Irish between 2003 and 2006
  • 3 competed as Swansea Bulls in 2003
  • 4 competed as Cynon Valley Cougars in 2003

Key

DNF Did not complete the season
x Did not participate
Divisional winner
Qualified for divisional play-off
Finished bottom

Winners

Competed for by the RLC Wales division since 2003

  • 2003 Bridgend Blue Bulls
  • 2004 Bridgend Blue Bulls
  • 2005 Bridgend Blue Bulls
  • 2006 Bridgend Blue Bulls
  • 2007 Bridgend Blue Bulls
  • 2008 Valley Cougars
  • 2009 Blackwood Bulldogs
  • 2010 Valley Cougars
  • 2011 Bridgend Blue Bulls
  • 2012 Bonymaen Broncos
  • 2013 Torfaen Tigers

Welsh Shield

Secondary Welsh competition for teams who do not make the play-offs for the Welsh Premier. It has not been contested since 2005.

  • 2004 Cardiff Demons
  • 2005 Newport Titans (now Titans RLFC)

Plate Final

  • 2009 Newport Titans (now Titans RLFC) 32 Dinefwr Sharks 24

Junior league

Welsh teams also compete at under-17; under-15 and under-13 age groups.

External links

  • Official Wales Rugby League Website
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