The performance Squad covers the 1st XV and "Druids" 2nd XV sides and represents the pinnacle of men's rugby at London Welsh. The Performance Squad has the unbridled mandate of returning London Welsh RFC to the highest possible level in the English Rugby Pyramid, within an inclusive and sustainable environment that is driven by player experience and aspiration. The squad is provided with a professional environment where players are encouraged to be their best rugby self and to reach their potential in playing at the highest level that they possibly can.
The 1st XV squad has seen sustained success since 2017 when the Board of Directors initiated ‘project reset’ setting out the ambition to achieve 4 promotions in the following 5 seasons. Over that period (the global Pandemic aside) we have achieved 3 consecutive promotions and have a win record of 96%, being unbeaten at Old Deer Park in over 4 years. 2021/22 Season will see the side look to make it 4 consecutive promotions and to achieve the 5 year plan ahead of schedule.
The Druids 2nd XV is very much part of the extended 1st XV squad and strives to be interchangeable in a highly competitive environment where movement between the top two performance sides is very much supported and encouraged. The Druids have emulated the 1st XV with 3 consecutive promotions of their own!
The Performance Squad is overseen by the Senior Coaching Group, a collection of handpicked professionals that have significant pedigree in professional rugby at the highest level. Director of Rugby Cai Griffiths (Ospreys, London Irish, London Welsh and Wales U21) leads the coaching group and with the unprecedented success over the last 4 years is recognised as an exciting talent amongst a new coaching generation. Cai is supported by Senior Backs Coach Steven Shingler (Scarlets, Cardiff Rugby, London Irish, Ealing Trailfinders and Wales U20) and Head of Strength & Conditioning Will Taylor (Ospreys, Wasps, Wales U20), both of whom bring extensive experience to what is an innovative and professional environment for the Performance Squad.
The squad includes a good mix of academy players, former professional players who have played Premiership, Championship and National League level rugby, and long standing club stalwarts. The performance squad is a close unit and players are provided with the environment that allows them to maximise their rugby potential whilst also growing in the wider sense. The squad has a number of age grade internationals and we have strong connections with the Rugby Football Union, the Welsh Rugby Union and strategic relationships with a number of leading BUCS Super Rugby Universities, Premiership Academies and the Welsh Regional sides.
Season 2021/22 will see the 1st XV compete in London 1 South and the Druids 2nd XV in the Middlesex Merit Premier League with both sides striving to win these respective leagues.
The Community Squad is in many ways the heart of the club. A collection of players ranging from former international and professional players to casual social players who have a simple love for the game. The community squad are very much supported as an integral part of London Welsh RFC and receive the same coaching dedication and support as the performance squad.
The squad places less emphasis on training and aspirations of player excellence, but has not less focus and passion and drive. The squad includes the Men’s 3rd XV (the Dragons) and the over 35s Vets team. The squad trains once a week with the 3rd XV playing in the Middlesex Merit League 5, the Vets taking part in the Middlesex Merit Vets league that sees Friday night matches under flood lights.There is also all year 02 touch which includes players across of the club and from both sexes.
The social scene is a very big emphasis within the squad and they tend to take the lead for the Men’s section as a whole, with the club being very much as one across all squads when it comes to social events.
The community squad caters for all abilities and receives as much support from the wider club as the Performance Squad, be that medical, physio, coaching or the resources of the London Welsh Careers HUB