ALTHOUGH the “Springbok Head “ has yet to return to Penarth RFC clubhouse from its summer residence at the Glamorganshire Golf Club, the rugby club has been busily preparing for the new season, which will commence on September 2, with a home fixture against the old foes Aberdare RFC.

Several new signings from the club’s productive youth section have strengthened the senior side for its gruelling 21-match League campaign, without taking into account the WRU Plate matches and of course, the pre-season warm-up games, planned for the following weeks.

However, this weekend, (Sunday, August 13) before the final stages of their pre-season build-up kick in, the Penarth club will host a charity rugby tournament in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis foundation, the “Better Life appeal” which is raising funds for the All-Wales Cystic Fibrosis Centre at Llandough Hospital, the one and only such unit in Wales.

Twelve teams, including the last year’s winners, Llanharan RFC and their opponents in the final, the Old Penarthians RFC, have confirmed their participation in the Sunday’s tournament. On Sunday at 12.30pm, the “Better Life appeal” touch rugby tournament kicks off at the Penarth Athletic Field, tournament organizer Penarth-born Harry Roberts announced.

Mr Roberts, who made 19 appearances for Penarth in the back row, is a graduate of Loughborough University and a former pupil of Stanwell Comprehensive. Before joining Penarth seniors he played for Penarth Minis and Juniors, Penarth Youth, Blues U16 and Wales U16.

"I have got involved in this project together with a lot of other people, from the members of my family to individuals and business in town, simply because I believed this was a great cause worth the efforts to raise as much money as we could, knowing well that the Penarth community would support us all the way,” Mr Roberts said.

"And I say us, because this is a genuine team effort, in which every single member played a part. I am just one of many and this is why the first tournament held across the road at the Cwrt–y-Vil ground was such a success, having been supported by virtually everyone in Penarth, be they rugby players, families or businesses, from Tesco and Morrison’s to David Lush, Mint and Mustard, Principality, Andrea’s florist, Glass by Design, to mention just a few. They have all donated items and goods for last year’s raffle which was a tremendous success. The same should be said about my own club Penarth RFC, who are hosting the event this year. So please, come on Sunday to watch the matches, enjoy yourself and feel free to donate any item to the raffle, which should enable us to raise the much needed funds for this important project. Details about the project and it value to the community could be found on the “Better Life Appeal” website and anyone wishing to donate anything for the Sunday’s Big Raffle, could contact me on 07860 143089," Mr Roberts said.

The following week, on Tuesday, August 15, Penarth travel to Cardiff for a joint training session with the Llandaff North club, which will include contact work with the forwards and backs, as Penarth head coach Matthew Bolton explained. The following Saturday, on August 19, Penarth travel to Caerphilly, the ambitious Division Two East club, aiming under coaches Brett Davy and Christian Ferris, to secure promotion to Division One. The match will kick off at 2.30pm at Virginia Park and should offer a good estimate of the relative strength and weakness of the Seasiders, before they start their campaign in Division Two Central in a fortnight’s time. Finally, the Penarth trip to Cardiff where they take on the up and coming Caerau RFC on August 26 at Trelai Park in Ely. (Kick off at 2.30pm), should bring the pre-season build up to an end. The following weekend the league kicks off.

Penarth RFC pre-season Diary (August 2017)

Sunday, August 13– Touch Rugby Tournament for the “Better Life Appeal” Trophy

Tuesday, August 15 – Penarth travel to Llandaff North RFC (joint training session)

Saturday, August 19 – Penarth travel to Caerphilly RFC (match 2.30pm kick off)

Saturday, August 26– Penarth travel to Caerau Ely RFC (match kicks off at 2.30pm).