Training gets underway at Brecon Rugby Club

Preparation for the new season has begun at Parc de Pugh

Thursday 21st July 2022 8:00 am
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Dale McIntosh gets stuck into a training session
Dale McIntosh gets stuck into a training session (Brecon RFC )

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Pre-season training is underway at Parc de Pugh, as Dale McIntosh begins his reign of director of rugby at Brecon RFC.

Dale ‘The Chief’ McIntosh joined up with the club earlier this month and has begun putting the team through its paces. His appointment, announced in April, represents an exciting appointment for the National League Division 1 East club.

The former forward, who played more than 450 times for Pontypridd and twice for the Welsh national team, has gone on to forge a flourishing coaching career in his post-playing years, most recently enjoying a successful seven-year spell with Merthyr RFC.

The climax of Brecon’s Covid-hit 2021/22 season came as early as April 2 when the team narrowly lost in the dying minutes of the Plate Semi-Final to a powerful Treorchy team.

While there were a number of fixtures still to play after that date but with no league promotion or relegation and with Covid taking its toll, only one further match, against Dowlais, was played and the season ended in a disappointing fashion.

With such an early termination it is hardly surprising that preparations for the new season, which starts on September 3, with a home match against Pontypool United, have started early.

Coach Gavin Dacey delivers instructions to the squad (. )

On Tuesday, July 5 more than thirty Brecon players turned out at Parc de Pugh to start regular pre-season training.

The pattern for the next two months, apart from Royal Welsh Show week when training is suspended, will be for regular Tuesday and Thursday evening sessions combined with Saturday morning training or afternoon warm up matches in August.

To date, two games have been arranged against Championship sides, at home to Bedwas and away at Narberth. With one additional game still to be arranged the pre-season programme will be testing to say the least.

Players have taken up the challenge with enthusiasm. In spite of the hot weather and rock-hard grounds, attendances continue to be encouraging. There is definitely a determination to build on recent successes.

Coaches Matthew Lewis and Wayne Morris took the team to within minutes of defending their 2019 Plate success at the Principality Stadium. The foundation they laid last season has allowed the new coaching regime to kick on with the ambition of again challenging for both the WRU Bowl and the Division 1 East League title.

The task for McIntosh and his coaching team of Gavin Dacey, Owen Shepherd and Darren Harris will not be an easy one. Teams with the pedigree of Penallta, Newbridge and Brynmawr will undoubtedly start the season with similar ambitions and with considerable justification based on their recent successes. In the end, as with all competitive sport, success or failure will rest on fine margins. With this in mind the coaches are determined to leave no stone unturned and are engaged in setting out an exciting, progressive pre-season programme.

As a team they have brought their experience of both playing and coaching at a high level to Parc de Pugh. Their task now is to provide a core of local players with the opportunity to make the most of their abilities and to take their skill level up a few notches as they prepare for, and ultimately play, attractive, enjoyable and successful rugby.

To date training has gone well. Sessions are, at this stage, skills focussed, positive and enjoyable. Individual players are challenged and display clear progression in terms of pace and accuracy as they adapt to the presented skill set. Throughout there is positive direction and encouragement.

For any supporters wondering what it is all about, they are encouraged to turn up to observe a training session or two at Parc de Pugh. It makes good viewing and provides a good insight into what the players, coaches and club are working towards.

A warm welcome, both from players and coaches, is guaranteed for all those who want to improve their rugby skills and fitness and to be part of an ambitious club which is aiming for success with the 1st XV in Division 1 East, the ATHLETIC Team (formerly 2nd XV) in the WRU Athletic Conference and the Youth XV in the WRU Nation Youth Leagues.

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