Gwent college starts title defence and it's on the TV

CHAMPIONS: Last season’s Colleges League winners Coleg Gwent

CHAMPIONS: Last season’s Colleges League winners Coleg Gwent

First published in Latest Rugby

COLEG Gwent start the defence of their WRU Colleges League title this afternoon at Coleg Morgannwg and the match will be shown on television tonight under a new deal between the Union and S4C.

The students from the Crosskeys campus will be looking to build on their first game of the season, a 12-19 victory over Ivybridge Community College in Devon.

This year’s Colleges Lea-gue will see 16 games broadcast.

Current Welsh stars including Leigh Halfpenny, George North and Alun Wyn Jones have all played rugby at this level in the past before progressing to the regional and international game.

All the teams involved are further education colleges except for the independent school Llandovery College.

Under the broadcast agreement, cameras will cover one live game each week throughout the league.

The selected match can be watched live during the afternoon on the S4C website (today’s match kicks off at 2.30pm) before it is screened on television in its entirety on the same night from 10.35pm, along with highlights of other matches from the competition.

Alongside the defending champions’ opening game, Coleg Sir Gar welcome Bridgend College and Llandovery College travel to Coleg Sir Benfro. In the remaining match, Neath Port Talbot College take on Gower College.

Despite being defending champions, Coleg Gwent head coach Paul Young knows his side face a difficult task in their opening game.

“Morgannwg are going to be very strong opposition so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

“We have got this group for two years now so we’ll possibly be stronger next year.

“We had a good win at Ivybridge last week and we’ve got a lot of first years in the squad this year but I think the experience of getting our hands on the trophy last year will be good motivation.

“We’ve got a good side and we are capable of getting a win today but a lot depends on the conditions.

“They’re going to try to play an open game but we need to be prepared and not let them do that.”

And Young is supportive of increased TV coverage of the college game, believing it can only benefit his team and the development of college players into the future.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for the boys to be seen on TV and to get some exposure.

“It will hopefully make everybody aware of the colleges league and the talent that is out there.

“It’s going to be a very important year to get that out there and hopefully it will continue to grow into the future.”

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