Two promotions in two seasons achieved, and nothing less than making it three in a row will satisfy Director of Rugby, Cai Griffiths and his team of coaches. Pre-season performances in training and in the matches against Neath and Thurrock have shown the ability and ambition within the squad, and now the focus turns to the start of the league campaigns. The 1st XV have moved up to London 2 North West, with the three other adult men's teams competing in the Middlesex Merit Table competitions. Whilst Druids begin their MMT1 season on Saturday with a visit to Hackney, Dragons (3rd VX) will get things underway later in the month, and the Occies, now taking part in the Middlesex Vets League, will embrace Friday night rugby from October onwards.
The 1st XV league season starts with a visit to Welwyn RFC on Saturday 14th September. Welwyn were relegated from London 2 North West at the end of the 2016/17 season but bounced straight back as runners up, just behind Grasshoppers in London 3 North West. Eight wins from their 20 games in 18/19 saw them finish at the halfway point of the London 2 North West table, the league reduced to 11 teams due to the withdrawal of London Nigerians. Fourteen bonus points topped up their total, with their points for and against almost identical averaging 22 and 23 per game respectively. Like London Welsh, their season included a 0-0 draw - in their case against Belsize Park who went on to be League Champions.
Welwyn have prepared for the season with a 19-10 victory over London 2 North East team Harlow. They took a 12-0 lead in the first half and then extended their lead further after the break with a converted try, before Harlow closed the gap with two unconverted tries.
Supporters making the journey to Welwyn will find their drinking and eating needs well catered for with bars and a barbecue. Kick off is 3pm, - come along and support the 1st XV.
The London Welsh Supporters Club will be running a coach to the game, departing ODP at 11.30am and leaving Welwyn RFC at 6pm for the return journey. To book your place call their Travel Hotline on 07900 411952.