THE WRU League season kicks off today, with a host of Pembrokeshire sides in action.

Previews below, with all games kicking off at 2.30pm.


Narberth v Newbridge

Last season The Otters defied all scepticism to finish second in the Championship behind runaway champions Pontypool, winning 17 of their 22 league games.

Head coach Sean Gale has managed to keep the bulk of that squad together, and his side will start favourites tomorrow at home to a Newbridge side that ended the 2016/17 campaign in seventh.

A lot of eyes will be on the new look centre partnership of Paul Davies and Kieran Jones, an area where Oli Reyland and Jack Price formed such a formidable duo last season – but it is hooker Dan Smith who will grab the limelight as he makes his 250th appearance for the club.

Narberth: James Stephenson, Liam Hutchings, Kieran Jones, Paul Davies, Jack Parkinson, Ianto Griffiths, Rhys Lane, Bradley Davies, Dan Smith, Tom Slater, Jake Simm, Alex Jenkins (captain), Dewi Williams, Tom Powell, Rich Rees.

Replacements: Dan Jacobs, Rhodri Owens, Pat Roberts, Jonathan Rogers, Jack Price.

Division One West:

Dunvant v Crymych

The Preseli Men are now long established as a solid Division One side, and with another group of talented youngsters coming through, will be looking towards the top half of the table again this season.

They have almost been victims of their own success in recent years, losing a host of players to Llandovery and other Premiership sides.

But they have also recruited, with strong running centre Marcus Castle one player to return from Cardigan this summer.

It will be a tough start away at Dunvant, but Crymych have shown their resilience on the road these past few seasons, and have every chance of a winning start.

Tenby United v Llanelli Wanderers

It was a fantastic season for The Seasiders last year, resulting in the Division Two title and a Pembrokeshire KO Cup win.

But the real test of them comes now, especially given the way they capitulated in their last season in Division One.

They seem better equipped this time around, having held onto the majority of the squad that excelled last season, and added new faces as well.

They finished last season with a lot of momentum and will fancy their chances of a winning start here at Heywood Lane.

Unusually, Tenby are yet to name their side publicly, but word is new centre Dan Birch will start.

Division Two West:

Pontyberem v Whitland

It's been a difficult few years for The Borderers, and it's almost inconceivable to think they played in the Championship as recently as the 2012/2013 season.

Relegation last year from Division One, was a body blow, but if nothing else, gives them a chance to re-group in this campaign.

The returns to the fold of Scott Newton and Jonny Thomas will boost them a lot, and former skipper and influential flanker Ryan Michael has also been named in tomorrow's XV.

Their start is a difficult one mind, away to a Pontyberem side who, after a great start, endured some inconsistent form last season. But they are always difficult to beat at home.

Whitland: Scott Newton, Scott Candler, Jonny Thomas, Alun Howells, Sean Coles, Nico Setaro, Tom Parry, Aaron Mayne, Marc Jones (captain), Michael Ryan, Raff Williams, Dai Ebsworth, Ben Kirk, Ryan Michael, Jack Mason.

Replacements: Tomos Evans, Gethin Lewis, Danny Evans, Adam Davies, Aron Ebsworth.

St Clears v Fishguard – postponed by mutual consent

Division Three West A:

Aberaeron v St Davids

Aberaeron return to the ‘Pembrokeshire’ based league after a two year absence, and will start off by hosting a St Davids side unable to register a league win throughout their last campaign.

The Saints had a heavy defeat in their Pembrokeshire KO Cup match at Milford last month, while Aber competed well against a Fishguard side who play a league above them.

Sadly, it’s hard to see anything but a home win here.

Cardigan v Pembroke Dock Quins

It’s all change at The Teifisiders, with the squad they have named tomorrow barely recognisable from the one that agonisingly missed out on the league title and a WRU Bowl final last season.

Coaches and a host of players have seemingly moved on, and it remains to be seeing if they can maintain a title challenge like their last two campaigns.

But what the Quins travel with remains to be seen, and Ossie Boswell’s men failed to field a settled side last season.

They won’t want to start with another long away day at the office here.

Cardigan: Dion James, Russ Hasler, Tom Taylor, Emyr Harries (captain), Rhydian Jenkins, Llyr Jones, Tomos Jones, Scott Payne, Luke Palmer Davies, Ben Hughes, Dean Harries, Sion Phillips, Daffydd Rotie, Jamie Morgan, Rob Connolly.

Replacements: Stuart Davies, Richard Jones, Ben Rogers, Owain Rees, William Delve.

Llangwm v Tregaron

Llangwm were much improved last season, and this is not a trip Tregaron will relish first up.

The Wasps may even be slightly disappointed with the sunny forecast, but if they have a full squad available, they will severely test the resolve of the mid-Wales side.

Tregaron impressed last season with their handling and off-loading game, so it will be critical the home side starve them of a good possession.

If they can do that, and it won’t be easy, they can edge this one.

Milford Haven v Laugharne

It has been a summer of change at The Obs.

Head coach Steve Barnett has moved on, whilst key players from last season Craig Barnett, Josh Thomas, and Dan Birch have all seemingly moved on.

Alan McClelland is back at the helm, and Matthew Reynolds and David Round are amongst a few old faces to return.

Adam Rees will captain the club for the first time, and The Mariners cannot afford to start slowly against a Laugharne side whose form fluctuated last season.

But led by No 8 Carl Smith, the visitors are dangerous to any team, and if at full strength, will ask tough questions of McClelland’s men first up.

Pembroke v Neyland

Pembroke’s title challenge petered out in the latter half of last season, while The All Blacks made some real strides forward.

Both sides have aggressive packs with strong runners, and if both are playing, The Scarlets will look to back row forwards Dom Colman and Sam Smith to make their inroads.

Lewys Gibby at No 9 is also a match winner if given the platform.

Under player coach Steve Martin, Neyland are still waiting for a number of their youngsters who played in their successful youth team last season to become eligible for senior rugby – but I expect them to fight for everything here and come away with something, even if not an outright win.