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Indigo Group Premiership clubs make long awaited return to competitive action

Community | 5th August 2021

Cardiff RFC will welcome RGC to the capital as they make a long-awaited return to competitive action in September’s inaugural Indigo Group Premiership Cup.

All 12 Premiership sides have been divided into two pools of six - West and East - with the Blue and Blacks set for mouth-watering derby encounters over the coming weeks.

Following a pre-season warm up clash against London Welsh, Cardiff, whose quest for a first Premiership title since 2009 was cut short due to the pandemic, host former Welsh Cup championship RGC at the Arms Park on the opening weekend of cup action.

Merthyr and Pontypridd also kick off their campaigns at home against Ebbw Vale and Newport respectively.

All three clubs within the region will go head-to-head over the course of 10 weeks, as the sides play both home and away against each other, with a place in the semi finals up for grabs.

The winner from West will then host the runners-up from East in one semi-final while in the other semi-final the winner of East will host the runner-up of West. The date and venue of the final are TBC. 


"The key for us has been to get people back playing rugby. A lot of time and effort has gone into ensuring the top end of our club game can return to action in a safe environment," said WRU head of participation, Geraint John.

"Finally, the players and coaches have something tangible to focus on and we can all now look forward to seeing some exciting derbies which I’m sure will give fans something to shout about at long last."

Ian Cole-Wilkins, CEO of Indigo Group, added: "We are pleased to be finally welcoming clubs back after a long and challenging 18 months. The new West axnd East cup competition format to start in September gives local supporters the chance to see the players stir up some long standing rivalries! 

"Indigo Group will continue to support clubs with their return to rugby and we look forward to getting to some of the games."

Jon Jones, chairman of the Indigo Group Premiership clubs and Ebbw Vale, expressed relief that a date has now been set in concrete to get the players back on the pitch and is hoping the derbies will see fans pouring back through the turnstiles.

"Having a cup competition at the beginning of the season is something different, but we’re obviously looking forward to it because we haven’t played for over 18 months by the time we kick off," he said. "We’re really enthusiastic to get back to playing and that is a message from all the Indigo Group Premiership clubs really.

"It’s really important to have that start date set now – we’ve not even got close to it before so it’s great to know when we’re going to start, we’ve all got friendly fixtures lined up to lead into the competition," he said.

Jones added the Indigo Group Premiership has had to follow certain protocols before having a start-date confirmed.

"Training has already started for the clubs, but we need a bigger lead-in than some of the community clubs for obvious reasons.

"We have got to get a lot of things in place and it gives us time to do that to make sure the players are ready - it’s been a long time without contact so there are concerns from the medical side of things and that is why it has been managed in the way it has and why we are starting later than the community game.

"This will be a chance to see some live rugby, it’s good for the clubs and good for atmosphere and I think everybody needs that after what we have been through as a society - everybody needs something different to the garden.

"It’s a chance for the Indigo Group Premiership clubs to continue to show what they can do - that is why we would be really pleased to get more people through the gates because I think as people come they will want to come again."