Merthyr: League and Cup double winners last season. Pic: WRU.

Merthyr Handed Capital Trip As Premiership Prepares To Shrink

Merthyr will have more silverware in mind when they launch the defence of their Principality Premiership crown with a trip to the Arms Park to meet Cardiff on the opening day of the new season.

Last season’s league and cup winners are aiming to make it a hat-trick of Premiership titles to add to the WRU National Championship victory they secured in 2016.

If the Ironmen make it three in a row they will become only the third side in the history of the tournament to make it a hat-trick – Neath won four in a row between 2004-2008, while Pontypridd did the same between 2011-2015.

The format for this season’s competition has been changed to a home and away format, with no play-offs at the end of the campaign.

The top 11 of the 16 teams will retain their Premiership status for next season with the 12th club facing off against the winners of the WRU National Championship for the final place in next season’s 12-team league.

The play-off game will only take place if the Championships winners hold a WRU A Licence that meets the requirements for clubs to play in the top flight.

Pontypool have won the Championships title in the past two years, losing only one game in that time.

Last season’s runners-up, Llandovery, head to Bargoed to kick-off their campaign, while third placed Pontypridd are also on the road in Round 1, facing a tricky trip to Bedwas.

Principality Premiership Fixtures 2018/19 (First Month Only)

Round 1: 1 September  

Aberavon v Swansea
Bargoed v Llandovery
Bedwas v Pontypridd
Cardiff v Merthyr
Carmarthen Quins v Newport
Cross Keys v Bridgend
Llanelli v Ebbw Vale
RGC 1404 v Neath

Round 2: 8 September                                                  

Carmarthen Quins v Cross Keys
Ebbw Vale v Aberavon
Llandovery v Cardiff
Merthyr v Bedwas
Neath v Bridgend
Newport v Bargoed
Pontypridd v Llanelli
Swansea v RGC 1404

Round 3: 15 September                                                               

Aberavon v Pontypridd
Bargoed v Carmarthen Quins
Bedwas v Llandovery
Bridgend v Swansea
Cardiff v Newport
Cross Keys v Neath
Llanelli v Merthyr
RGC 1404 v Ebbw Vale

Round 4: 22 September                                                               

Bargoed v Cross Keys
Carmarthen Quins v Cardiff
Ebbw Vale v Bridgend
Llandovery v Llanelli
Merthyr v Aberavon
Newport v Bedwas
Pontypridd v RGC 1404
Swansea v Neath

Round 5: 29 September                                               

Aberavon v Llandovery
Bedwas v Carmarthen Quins
Bridgend v Pontypridd
Cardiff v Bargoed
Cross Keys v Swansea
Llanelli v Newport
Neath v Ebbw Vale
RGC 1404 v Merthyr


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