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Cardiff and Rhondda to meet in Dewar Shield final once again

Pathway | 8th April 2022

Cardiff Schools and Rhondda Schools will once again go head-to-head in this year’s Dewar Shield final at Principality Stadium.

The two sides share a rich history in the competition, thought to be the oldest schools competition in world rugby, and will meet in the final at the home of Welsh rugby later this month.

The prestigious under-15 tournament sees school district sides from across the country competing annually. A number of current Cardiff first team stars have featured in the final in the past including Ben Thomas, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Owen Lane and Liam Belcher.

Having come out on top in their respective semi finals earlier this week, Cardiff and Rhondda will meet in the title decider, having met multiple times in past finals of the competition.

Rhondda secured their place in the season finale with a 23-12 victory over Mynydd Mawr and Dinefwr Schools at Briton Ferry RFC on Wednesday.

With coaches Chris Jones and Neil Boobyer at the helm, Evan Gallagher claimed two of the tries on the day, with captain Ethan Williams also crossing the whitewash. 

Meanwhile, it was the battle of the cities in Bridgend’s Brewery Field as Cardiff took on Swansea in the other semi final.

Having trailed 22-7 at the break, an impressive second half fight-back from the capital side saw them scoring 20 unanswered points to book their place at the Principality Stadium.

Owain Paskell, Danny Lock and Michael Rogers all dotted down for Iestyn Williams’ side, who were led by captain Lloyd Lucas.

The sides have met in the group stages earlier this season, with the latter securing a 31-21 victory in March.

Cardiff Schools ‘A’ will also feature at the iconic stadium on finals day as they compete in the L Miller Bowl against Islwyn Schools, following a semi final win over Neath.

Academy manager, Gruff Rees, said: “Both of these sides regularly qualify for the Dewar Shield final and that is testament to the quality of their respective programmes.

“Once again we have two high quality groups who deserve their spot in the final and I’m looking forward to a spectacle.

“However, what’s important to players at this level is the development process and how we can bridge the gap to the next stage of the pathway. Any success is an added bonus, which will of course make memories of a lifetime for these boys but we also look at what will serve them the best. We want to prioritise their development from a physical, skillful and mental point-of-view, avoiding the need to play catch up later down the line.

“The Dewar Shield is a key entry point into our pathway system - I’m sure many of these boys will feature in our under-16 sides next year - and it serves as a crucial talent identification opportunity as we get to see players flourish in a high quality environment.

“Congratulations to the players and coaches of both teams and best of luck in the final later this month.”