||D||L|| Pts For.
|| Pts Ag.
Club Captain: Sam Kiley
Leading Try Scorer: Hanno Dirksen (18)
Leading Points Scorer: James Dixon (277)
Most Appearances : Luke Jones (29)
Capped v Italy: Tom Prydie (d)
Capped v South Africa: Tom Prydie
Capped v New Zealand (2 matches) : Tom Prydie
(d) = International debut, (c) = captain of international side.
Swansea RFC 2009-10 Season.
Taken before the last Premiership game of the season v Cardiff RFC at St Helens, Wednesday 21st April 2010.
Back Row (L to R): Nicky Thomas, Adrian Thomas, James Dixon, David Blyth, Richard Kelly, Paul Arnold, Nicky Jones, Owen Phillips, Chris Shelmerdine, Dai Watts.
2nd Row (L to R): Andy Jones, Meirion Howells (Dir.), Andy Maggs (Physio), Roy Pascoe (Kit), Tudor Jeremiah (Kit), Tom Isaacs, Aled Lewis, Scott Baldwin , Andrew Clatworthy, Lee May, Ben Lewis, Andrew Joy, Tim Evans, Marc Popham, Eli Walker, Sam Lewis, Luke Jones, Roy Jones, Richard Moriarty (Dir.), Hanno Dirksen, Dai Roberts (Kit Manager), Byron Mugford (Hon. Sec.), Marc Jones (Fitness Coach), Dai Protheroe (Treas.), Brian Jones (Exec. Com.).
Front Row (L to R): Ian Jones (Backs Coach), Damian Karauna, Richard Webster (Senior Coach), Sam Kiley (captain), Phil Llewellyn (Club Chairman), Leigh Bevan, Rhodri Wells, Ian Hopkins (Team Manager).
Inset (L to R): Huw Alford, Rhys Jones, Steffan Jones, Phil Tucker, Ricky Williams, Tom Prydie, Pete Orphan (Chaplain), David Davies (Hon. Surgeon), Phil Webster (Hon. Surgeon).
(Photo: Dragon Tales Rugby)
Sam Kiley, who had stood in for Matthew Evans for much of the 2008-9 campaign, was confirmed as captain of Swansea RFC in his own right for 2009-10. The squad and coaches were determined to make their mark in the coming season. After a successful pre-season under Fitness Coach Marc Jones, friendly wins were registered away at Narberth and home, (at the University Grounds) to Nuneaton before Swansea began their Premiership campaign with a statement of intent, beating Cardiff away and Newport at home. Wins over Bedwas and Llanelli followed before a thrilling, top of the table clash at home to Aberavon. The televised game ended in a 36 all draw and drew general admiration as a great advert for Premiership rugby.
The unbeaten run ended against Pontypridd at Sardis road in a below par display from The Whites followed by a home loss to Neath. But Swansea was a different side this season and, in a tremendous run, won 9 of the next 10 games from October to February, with only Ebbw Vale away as a blot on the record. Sitting atop the Premiership table, their colours were again lowered by Pontypridd as the Sardis Road bogey struck again and Swansea were knocked out of the Swalec Cup.
Still topping the table, Swansea struck back with a 63 -10 demolition of Glamorgan Wanderers at St Helens but again failed to find their form in a shock away loss to bottom of table Pontypool. Revenge was dished out cold to Pontypridd when they visited St Helens in mid March and were well beaten 37 – 15 but Swansea had slipped to second place and the chance to lift themselves back to top was lost away to Neath who now stood atop the Premiership table. A resilient Swansea side were victors away at a rain and mud drenched Aberavon in the Club’s first win there since January 1996!
The earlier disappointing loss away to Ebbw Vale was avenged at St Helens followed by a hard fought victory over Cross Keys at Pandy Park where South African born wing Hanno Dirksen distinguished himself by grabbing a second consecutive hat trick of tries. The league fixture card was completed with a home win over Cardiff thus achieving the double over them. Doubles were also notched up over Bedwas, Llanelli, Llandovery, Carmarthen Quins, Glamorgan Wanderers and Cross keys this season. Swansea went onto the play-offs (for the British & Irish Cup for 2010-11) confirmed in 2nd place in the Premiership final table, 5 pts clear of Newport with 19 wins, a draw and only 6 losses from 26 games.
In May at the first of the play-off’s, Swansea erased the memory of the earlier away loss to Newport with a 9 try, 60 – 19 win. Being paired together with Newport again in the Semi Final, The Whites came through 31 – 17 in the last game at St Helens for the season, but lost the Play Off Final at Cardiff Arms Park to Neath on try count (3 -1) though drawing the match 22 all. The effort put in on a hot day in Cardiff reflected the commitment of the squad through this, their most successful season since the Princiaplity Premiership started in 2003. The day before the Final, the Annual Player Awards were announced at the Patron Supporters’ Dinner. The Bernard Cajot Young Player Of The Year going to Hanno Dirksen, Players Player Of The Year to Luke Jones and Patrons’ Player Of The Year to Dai Watts. Later that month, at the Principality Premiership Awards, Coach Richard Webster deservedly won the Coach Of The Year Award and Hanno Dirksen was a nominee for the Best Newcomer category ( won by Toby Faletau of Llandovery).
Leaving at the end of this season were Adrian Thomas (Bridgend RFC), Luke Jones (teaching in China), Marc Popham (Cross Keys RFC) and Ricky Williams (Carmarthen Athletic RFC).
The season saw a total of 11 ‘Swanspreys’ (appearances for Swansea and Ospreys) – Liam Davies, Ross Davies, Ian Evans, James Goode, Richard Kelly, Ben Lewis, Conor McInerney, Gareth Owen, Tom Prydie, Nicky Thomas and Rhodri Wells.
The season also saw impressive newcomers in Luke Jones, Scott Baldwin, Tom Prydie, Hanno Dirksen, Sam Lewis, Eli Walker and Paul Arnold returned at the age of 41 and added 13 appearances to his previous 287 to reach the exclusive 300 club, captaining the club and scoring a try on his 300th appearance. Tim Evans returned to the squad mid season to bolster the front row resources.
Nicky Thomas and Rhodri Wells reached 100 appearances during the course of the season.
Finally congratulations to Tom Prydie who became the youngest ever Welsh International player when he made his debut in the 6 Nations versus Italy at 18yrs and 25 days old.. He followed this with a start against South Africa in Cardiff in June scoring his first try and becoming the youngest Welsh try scorer in the process (18yrs & 102 days), beating the record set by Cardiff wing Tom Pearson against England in 1891 (18yrs & 239 days). He was also selected for Wales’ Summer Tour to New Zealand and started the first test (80 mins) with a substitute appearance in the second test (69 mins). All 4 appearances were on the wing.