Whilst training has been in full swing since June, with players both old and new preparing for the challenge that will be London 2 NW the difficult decision of who will lead the teams on the field next season has been one that the Coaching and Management team at London Welsh, under DoR Cai Griffiths, have now come to a final decision on.
Before naming this years Captains I would first like to give a massive thankyou on behalf of the club to the Captains of last season. All did a fantastic job both on and off the pitch, but a special mention must go to Lloyd Davies whose steady hand at the tiller for the 1st XV helped us win an emphatic double and Dan Jones inspirational leadership for the Druids cemented their spot in Middlesex Merit 1.
They can now both take huge pride in their achievements of last season as well as a well earned rest from the many Captains responsibilities to enjoy their rugby without the burden of leadership (although I am sure knowing both, they will still remain huge talisman to their teams).
To add to this we are also re-launching the Dragons as the 3rd XV to emulate our structure of the days before full professionalism and the Occasionals will revert to being a veterans side competing in the Friday Night floodlit leagues.
So without further ado it is with great pleasure therefore that I can announce the four Captains chosen for this new structure for the 2019/20 season are;
|Chris Lilly - Club and First XV Captain.|
|Before Joining Welsh Chris had a rich rugby background, playing through the various Leinster age groups - A Schools, u18 etc. and got a rugby scholarship to UCD (University College Dublin). Chris then earned a place in the Leinster sub Academy for 2 years and started for the Leinster u20s during their winning interprovincial campaign.To top all of this Chris was called up to u20 Irish squad but was unfortunately not successful in gaining a place in the 6Nations/Junior Word Cup.When Chris left UCD he captained St Mary’s RFC u20 to win the league and was voted Player of the YearThis led to him being called up to the 1st XV for St Mary’s where he was part of the squad that won the Div 1 AIL in 2012.On leaving Ireland we had the great fortune as a club that Chris decided to join our ranks to play his rugby, his fantastic Debut at London Welsh last season on him the Coaches Player of the Year award for his role as a key player in the winning squad of 2018/19 and I am sure his unique talents will help bring us success this coming season .|
|Oliver Smart - Druids Captain.|
|Ollie has been with London Welsh for 8 seasons, originally playing for the Amateurs first XV he has also turned out for all of the other sides from 1st XV through to the Occies consistently making his mark in every game for whatever team. Since the rebirth of the club 2 seasons ago Ollie has been a stalwart for the Druids as well as making several impressive 1st XV appearances on the first steps of our 5 year plan. I am sure the Druids will grow even stronger under his influence as the first XV feeder team|
|Tom Wright - Dragons Captain.|
| After a stint at Warlingham RFC and 6 years for Rugby Club Genève in Switzerland Tom Wright Started playing for Welsh back in 2010/11 the season that under the Guidance of Ian Horgan, the then 1st XV of the Amateurs achieved the status of Rugby World team of the month, also winning promotion to London 3. Since then Tom has been one of the most respected players and club men at Welsh who is known not just for his abilities as a player that will play for any side that needs him but his attitude off the pitch as well, someone who is known for giving 100% every time.|
|Dan Parsonage - Occasionals Vets Captain|
|Dan Parsonage joined us from Chiswick in 2015, since his time at London Welsh he has dedicated himself to rebuilding the Occies into the sort of team it was designed to be over 50 years ago. With all of the disruption and changes over the past 4 years Dan has been central to ensuring we don’t lose this most loved of our traditional teams by building it back up to first competing in the Merit Leagues and for this season joining the Vets Leagues. |
I hope you can now join me in congratulating the players chosen for their respective captaincy’s and look forward, as much as I do, to seeing them in action over the coming season.