This Saturday sees Welsh travel to Camberley to face a seemingly strong Camberley RFC side in the first ever league meeting between the clubs. Camberley currently sit third in the league with their only slip up being on the opening weekend in Round 1 away at Hammersmith & Fulham.
Camberley started the season with a 19-8 defeat at Hammers but won the next four games, including an impressive 52-0 victory over second-placed Chichester. In the last round of fixtures they travelled to Battersea Ironsides and came away with a 20-13 victory.
They finished the 2019/20 season just five points adrift of the promotion places and matching second-placed Westcombe Park’s 16 wins; falling behind on bonus points only. The previous season a single league point stopped them achieving successive promotions after they had stepped up from London 2 SW.
Camberley were founded in 1931 and since that day have remained at Watchetts Recreation Ground, even when they reached National League 1 in 1998/99 for a brief spell.
Camberley also boast a London Welsh connection in Director of Rugby Gareth Rise. Gareth is the son of Alun Rise, Alun coached the Academy system at Welsh for a number of years in the early 2000’s and is well known to club members and supporters from that era.
London Welsh have started the season unbeaten with five wins, three of those with bonus points. The most recent victory was 20-12 over Cobham in very wet conditions at ODP. Welsh have tested the extended squad thoroughly in the opening exchanges of the season, with extensive injuries particularly in the last two outings against Horsham and Cobham.
The rest week break sees a timely return to action for almost all of those on the long term injury list, including new signings number 8 Tom Williams (former CS Stags Captain) and second row Will Ponty from Swansea in the Welsh Premeirship and Swansea University (BUCS premiership). We may well also see a return for top try scorer Paolo Peschisolido (rested for the Cobham Match). In total Welsh has rotated 34 players in the 5 matches to date, with 18 debutants!
This weekend could well be the toughest test thus far for DoR Cai Griffiths and his coaching team. Welsh are the highest point scorers on the road (102 points) but Camberley hold the meanest defence at home (15 points conceded), so far this season. Yet, Welsh average just 12 points against them away from home per match this season. Welsh have the all round best record on the road this season and both sides have achieved 3 try scoring bonus victories from 5 matches.
All in all the scene is set for this to be a cracker. We look forward to seeing the usual travelling support from the London Welsh Supporters Club and wider #lwfamily to cheering on the squad from the sidelines at Watchetts.
Keep your eyes peeled this week for further match build up, the match day squad will be released at 11am Friday 15th October.