Welcome to Merthyr – their supporters and players. We are going to see them again very shortly for a Premiership game and while they currently lead the league they are also the cup holders.
We well remember their play-off win a while back when former Wizard, Richard Carter, was in the Merthyr ranks and today we welcome back two former favourites in Matthew Jarvis and Jay Baker while we have Stef Andrews fit again and he is another who has played for both clubs.
If there was a golden boot in rugby it would surely belong to Matthew, a wonderful kicker, while how Jay never was ever given a regional place is beyond belief.
If Matthew’s boot is enough Merthyr have another wonderful kicker in Richard Powell and his father (Graham) and his uncle were two special players years back in great days at Blaina.
Merthyr are led by the splendid lock Craig Locke, who I saw twice for Mountain Ash in the Mid District Cup and he looked the goods then and was soon snapped up by Pontypridd. And talking of Ponty reminds me of another former Wizard, Dale McIntosh!!
Yes, Dale played for Aberavon at Glamorgan Wanderers many years back and after being a New Zealander, he was a Scotland B and then a Wales cap.
To me, ‘The Chief’ is amongst the best and wisest of all Welsh coaches, I assume he breathes fire in the dressing-rooms, but he is always polite to me and never looks down on his opponents, and his brother was also a Wizard of course.
So we have two good sides who may be thinking more of league results, but we have a good referee in Gareth John today and the TV cameras here, so bring it on.
Just to add a very Happy New Year to all and also to Neath, who played splendidly here on Boxing Day.