London Welsh's new era begins with victory at Watford
By Greg Grimes
Last Updated: 10/09/17 10:52am
London Welsh began a new era with victory against Watford in the ninth tier of English rugby.
The immediate ambition for the club is four promotions within five years and they began that process with a 14-5 victory at newly-promoted Watford.
All the points came in the first half, two tries and two conversions from Lloyd Davies got the Exiles off to a winning start in their opening game in Herts and Middlesex 1.
The victory was in very different surroundings at Radlett Road for a side that were a Premiership side as recently as 2015.
Welsh graced the likes of Bath, Gloucester and Northampton in the recent past but this season will contest in a league with Royston, London French and the Bank of England.
Thirty-one-cap Welsh Grand Slam winner Sonny Parker is director of rugby and former Ospreys prop Cai Griffiths has come in as player/coach.
The club will now be run as an amateur team but say they will maintain their professional standards off the pitch.
That has already been demonstrated with Watford revealing on their social media that Parker cleaned the away changing room following the match on Saturday.
Following liquidation in December 2016, the club were removed from English rugby's professional ranks a month later after failing to meet the RFU's criteria to be granted a new licence.
The Richmond-based club said they were disappointed with the outcome and believed they had satisfied the requirements.
Since being formed in 1885 the club has a rich history, their most renowned glory years came between the mid 60's and early 70's.
Seven players were selected by the 1971 British and Irish Lions head coach Carwyn James' for the tour to New Zealand. That Lions side remain the only team to beat the All Blacks in their own backyard. The Dragons have produced 43 Lions overall and 177 Wales internationals.
In May 2017 Welsh announced a five-year plan to take the club from Herts and Middlesex 1 back up to the National Leagues.
In the recent future the club looks forward to a return to Old Deer Park when they face Staines there next Saturday.