The Ospreys will go back to where it all began this pre-season for a one-off evening of regional rugby at the Gnoll involving Neath, Swansea, Bridgend and Aberavon.
The Gnoll was the venue for the region’s first ever competitive fixture back in September 2003, a 41-30 win over Ulster, and will be the venue for the Premier 4x4 Ospreys Challenge on Tuesday 19th August (from 7.00pm).
The format of the evening will see an Ospreys team go into action against sides from the four senior clubs in the region in four 20 minute matches, giving the region a competitive and innovative fixture as they build up towards the new campaign.
The full Ospreys squad will be in attendance, with those not involved in the action mixing with supporters on what should be a fantastic family night out for all rugby supporters in the region.
Although they have visited the Gnoll for training sessions, as recently as last summer, the Premier 4x4 Ospreys Challenge marks the first time that the team has been in action at the venue since the move to the Liberty Stadium in 2005, clinching a first ever Celtic League title with a 29-12 win over Edinburgh on the last regional game in Neath.
Will Thomas, Neath RFC Chief Executive, welcomed the news that the club would play host to the Ospreys and their fellow regional clubs:
“I’d like to thank the Ospreys and Aberavon, Bridgend and Swansea for agreeing to accept the Premier 4x4 Challenge at the Gnoll. We are honoured to be hosting such an exciting and innovative concept and I’m sure that with all of the other activities that will be taking place on the evening it will turn out to be an excellent event for supporters across the region.’
‘With the Gnoll hosting the fixture, it represents a re-invigorated relationship between ourselves and the Ospreys which I’m sure will now go from strength to strength”
Andrew Hore, Ospreys Chief Executive, said that it would be a special evening:
“We are delighted to be heading back to Neath for the first Premier 4x4 Ospreys Challenge. It’s a great concept that will, I’m sure, be a big hit with supporters of the Ospreys and the four clubs taking part. To bring the four teams, the Ospreys, and supporters of all five teams to one venue for an evening of rugby is something that has never been done before. It should be a special evening for everyone.
“It’s not a social get together, there is a serious side to the evening. It’ll prove to be a challenging time for the players selected for the Ospreys, going in to four 20 minute matches against club teams that are keen to get one over them, with a fresh 15 players taking the field after each quarter. The environment will really help to sharpen up those involved.
“Off the field, the full squad will be in attendance to help make it a memorable night for everybody. It’ll be a great experience, the Gnoll holds great memories for all Ospreys supporters and, hopefully, this event will create new memories for a new generation.”
The evening is sponsored by Premier 4x4 who have been a key commercial partner of Neath for over five seasons. Premier 4x4 are a motor dealership based in Neath, specializing in 4x4 vehicles and prestige cars
Ceri James, Owner of Premier 4x4 commented:
“We jumped at the chance of becoming the headline sponsor for such an exciting and innovative concept and I’m looking forward to being part of a successful evening both on and off the pitch.”
Tickets for the evening are now available to buy from the Neath RFC clubhouse at the Gnoll (after 4pm Mon-Fri and all day Sat) or from the Neath RFC office at 13 Old Market Street in the town centre, priced just £5 for adults, £2 concessions.