Caerphilly RFC will play host to the Guinness Pro 12 derby between Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues in May, it has been announced.
The match has been moved from the Dragons’ ground, Rodney Parade, due to a fixture clash with their co-tenants Newport County on Saturday May 6.
The League Two match between the Exiles and Notts County receives priority as all final Football League matches of the season must be played at the same time in the interest of fairness.
The Dragons had visited Cross Keys’ Pandy Park ground and Eugene Cross Park, in Ebbw Vale, before selecting the Castlemen’s Constructaquote Stadium home as the derby’s venue.
Dragons CEO, Stuart Davies, said: “We have considered a range of factors and consulted with a large number of stakeholders and commercial partners to allow us to make a decision as to which ground is the most appropriate to host this match.
“We would like to extend our thanks to Ebbw Vale, Cross Keys and Caerphilly rugby clubs as well as the Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Councils for their efforts and warm welcomes. I would like to extend a special mention to Colin Vernall of Cross Keys, Jon Jones of Ebbw Vale and to Alex James of Caerphilly.
“Whilst it is recognised that Caerphilly RFC do not currently play in the Principality Premiership, their stadium in Virginia Park has historically hosted rugby at the highest level. The venue has a significant footprint which will allow us to enhance existing facilities to deliver a similar matchday experience for our supporters.”
— Caerphilly RFC (@caerphillyrugby) March 23, 2017
Caerphilly RFC Chairman, Alex James, is also on the Board of Directors for Newport Gwent Dragons, boasts a wide range of experience in delivering top level sporting events across the UK, and will be supporting both with infrastructure and the delivery of the event.
He added: “Caerphilly RFC are proud and privileged to host the biggest derby game in Wales at the Constructaquote Stadium. The venue has held many European games in the past and has the capacity to make this a memorable day once again.
“It is a perfect fit for both the Dragons and Caerphilly RFC with the training ground based just a few miles up the road [at Ystrad Mynach’s Centre for Sporting Excellence]. We aim to make this great occasion for the supporters of the Dragons, and hope it will be the first of many days on the road embracing the region.”
Lyndon Wood, chairman of Constructaquote – the club’s principal partner and ground sponsor, commented: “I am delighted that this has happened and it is a fantastic opportunity for the local community to embrace such a big event.
“Constructaquote are proud to have played a part in this and never envisaged something as big as this would happen when they came onboard last summer”.
The match will kick off at 5.15pm on Saturday May 6, with official announcement coming in the same week the Welsh Rugby Union confirmed its intention to take full control of the Dragons.