The new regional rugby season kicks off
With the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, it’s a very exciting time for rugby fans, and for those who can’t wait for the first kick of the tournament in New Zealand, there’s plenty of domestic rugby action from the new RaboDirect Pro 12 League on Y Clwb Rygbi.
On the opening weekend of the league S4C will be broadcasting two live matches. In the first game on Saturday 3 September, Huw Llywelyn Davies and Gwyn Jones commentate on the action at Musgrave Park where the Dragons will take on Munster. The second live match is on Sunday afternoon, 4 September, as the Scarlets welcome Aironi to Parc y Scarlets.
Looking forward to all the action is presenter Gareth Roberts. He’s predicting a real buzz, not only because rugby will be the talked about topic of the season, but also because the Rugby World Cup means the regions will be showcasing young, new talent in the absence of their more experienced players.
“Obviously in the first stage of the league, the regions will be missing many of their key players to the National squad, and not just the Welsh players but those playing for the other nations,” says Gareth Roberts.
“Subsequently, we’ll see lots of younger players getting an opportunity, some who’ve been on the sidelines and are now breaking through the academy system. There will be more opportunities to play since those players playing in the World Cup won’t be returning to regional rugby until about November.
“Warren Gatland has been criticised in the past for not including players from the Dragons in the National team, and suddenly there are five of them in the squad. So there are a few gaps to fill. And it will be quite a task to challenge a team like Munster, who are traditionally a very, very strong team.”