Exiles Return to the green grass of home for a showdown with bracknell in round 7

Welsh will head back to Old Deer Park for Round 7 and welcome the visit of Bracknell RFC.

The two sides last met in pre-season 2021/22 (last season) with Welsh visiting Lily Hill Park, Bracknell for the first time since the 2001/2002 season. Welsh took the away victory that day 12-19.

Bracknell spent last season in London 1 (Level 6) having been relegated in 19/20 under the controversial RFU COVID algorithm. That drop was quickly rectified in the 2021/22 season as Bracknell were promoted back to Level 5, along with London Welsh.

Welsh and Bracknell last played in league rugby back in the 2001/2002 season, in National 1. Welsh took both Wins in that season 44-20 at ODP and 24-22 on the road. Both sides have seen their fair share of ups and downs in the ensuing period with Bracknell dropping from National 1 (Level 3) to Level 6 and then back and forth to where they now stand at level 5. Welsh of course having a well publicised yo-yo 20 year period.

It is Bracknell that have started the season the stronger of the two sides thus far: of the 6 Rounds Bracknell have taken 4 wins and 3 Try Scoring Bonus Points., indeed Bracknell are unbeaten away from home. However, Bracknell have only played 2 away games so far this season, whereas Welsh have played 4! Going into the match Welsh sit in 11th place in the league and Bracknell in 6th.

Welsh have had a well documented injury crisis over the first 6 Rounds and in Round 5 that (DoR Cai Griffiths will hope) reached its height, with 17 players from the performance squad missing. That said, Welsh came away with an away draw at Sutton & Epsom, yet another game that the London Welsh faithful will feel that Welsh should have won.

In welcome good news – 8 of the missing cohort will return this coming weekend for Round 7 including: former Welsh Premiership man Ben West for his first appearance this season, top try scorer Sion Cowdy returns from International 7s duty with Ireland, Ewan Gully and Rhys Howells return in the centre and Ben Bodinham returns in the pack. It was pleasing to also see long time absentee Tommy Williams return last weekend and look back to his magnificent best in his first outing of the season.

Welsh will be looking to convert their recent frustrations (including losing a 21-5 lead against league 2nd placed Havant in Round 5) into solid results in Round 7. The spirit of the side has remained excellent in the first handful of rounds and some substantial performances from key players and those stepping up from the Druids 2nd XV.

The Matchday experience at Old Deer Park will kick off this weekend from 11am as the various club bars open and food will be served. The pre match lunch will start with arrival from 12.30 where guests will be treated to a 3 course meal, entertainment from the wonderful Cor Llundain (the Welsh Choir of London) and special guests including Q&A with our Match Day Sponsors, a fire side chat with lead Club sponsors Inndex and we will be joined by Tom Baldwin who will talk through his career at London Welsh and recent forced retirement. The pitch side bar will be open from 2pm with KO at 3pm. BOOKING for the Pre Match Lunch and entertainment can be made HERE: https://www.londonwelshrfc.com/events-list/ Entry to the Match is of course free to those purchasing a place at the matchday lunch. This weekend is a PATRONS DAY so we encourage our club Patrons to claim their spot at the lunch.

Live music will follow the game as we take the party late into the night.

Entry to the game is FREE to Season Club Members and under 16s (membership can be purchased HERE: https://www.londonwelshrfc.com/product-category/membership/ ) and for non members will be £7.50.

Parking as ever will be restricted in the main club – entry will be limited to vehicles via the Lion Gate entrance and we encourage those driving to get to the game early.

We look forward to seeing you all this weekend!



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