The Ospreys will return to the scene of their first-ever competitive fixture – and first league title win – when Neath RFC plays host to the region’s LV= Cup fixture against Saracens next month.
The exciting news was confirmed today after the Principality Premiership club – and founding member of Ospreys Rugby – was successful in their bid to host one of the region’s two fixtures in the competition during November.
Having participated in the Premier 4x4 Ospreys challenge at the Gnoll in pre-season along with Aberavon, Bridgend, Neath and Swansea, it marks the first competitive fixture for the region at the famous old ground since the move to the Liberty Stadium in 2005. The region clinched a first ever Celtic League title with a 29-12 win over Edinburgh on the last competitive Ospreys game in Neath in March of that year.
The venue also hosted the Ospreys’ opening Celtic League game, the first competitive game for the region, in September 2003. A crowd of 4,250 was present at the Gnoll that evening to see the home team secure a 41-30 win over Ulster.
Saracens, last season’s Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup runners-up, will visit the Gnoll on Friday 7th November, KO 7.35pm.
Will Thomas, Chief Executive of Neath RFC, said it was news for the whole of Neath to toast:
“This is fantastic news for Neath RFC, and for the town of Neath in general. For the Ospreys to be bringing this game to the Gnoll really is something for all rugby fans in the town to celebrate and is further evidence of the growing relationship between club and region.
“The Premier 4x4 Challenge was a huge success and no doubt played a part in the decision to award this game to Neath RFC. The visit of a famous club like Saracens to the Gnoll next month is something else again and we look forward to welcoming supporters of both teams to our home for what should be an evening to remember.
“The town will be buzzing with excitement around this game and it’s going to be great to see thousands of supporters pouring into town to enjoy the big match atmosphere once again.”
Tickets for this match will be available to buy from both the Liberty Stadium and the Gnoll from next week. This match is covered by an Ospreys 2014/15 season membership, and members have until Friday 31st October to secure their match ticket by contacting the Ticket Office. After this date their ticket cannot be guaranteed and membership cards will not be accepting at the ground on the night.
Category A seats in the Main Stand, located around the halfway line, will be reserved for premium members only up until the cut-off on 31st October after which they will go on general sale. Standard members can choose between seating or standing tickets.
Andrew Hore, Chief Executive, Ospreys Rugby, added:
“Everyone at the Ospreys is excited about this game being played at the Gnoll, and we are extremely grateful to Will Thomas and Geraint Hawkes at Neath for making this happen. Clearly, Neath and the Ospreys are intrinsically linked, with the club playing a huge part in our short but successful history to date.
“Taking these LV= Cup games out into the region allows us to get right into the heart of the region. It’s important that both our young players and those who have come to the Ospreys from elsewhere can see for themselves what this region is all about and who it is they are representing. Experiencing the Gnoll for themselves will certainly allow them to gain a greater understanding.
“We look forward to returning to the Gnoll and seeing the rugby public in Neath getting firmly behind their region.”
Ticket prices for this game are £15 (seating) and £10 (terrace) for adults, with concessions £5.
Premier Club members should contact Rebecca Gigg at the Liberty Stadium to make arrangements.
Details of the second LV= Cup game, against Newport Gwent Dragons a week later, will be confirmed over the next few days.
A letter will be sent out to all season members over the next week, to the registered address held by the Ticket Office, confirming all ticketing details for both fixtures.