It’s been all hands on deck recently at Caerphilly RFC.
Away from the first team’s cup and league exploits, the club’s Constructaquote Stadium, at Virginia Park, has been announced as the host venue for the rearranged Guinness Pro 12 derby between Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues.
The match has been moved from Rodney Parade in Newport due to a fixture clash with 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.
To conform to Guinness Pro 12 standards, Caerphilly has undergone a facelift, and chairman Alex James hailed the dedication of the club’s volunteers.
He said: “The infrastructure work is going well. There’s still lots to be done to get up to standard for the match but we’re getting there. Our volunteers have been working hard and brought it all together.
“We’ve got new bench seating in the east stand, redevelopments in the west stand, and a new press area.”
Mr James, who is also a Dragons director, believes hosting the derby could be a springboard for the Castlemen to return to the higher echelons of the rugby pyramid.
He added: “The redevelopment and match will both leave a huge legacy at the club. This is a prestigious event, and showing that we can host professional matches will only add to our bright future.
“This is the biggest regional derby in Welsh rugby, and if it’s a success – which I’m 100% confident it will be – there’s no reason why we couldn’t host an Anglo-Welsh Cup game or one of the ‘smaller’ Pro 12 matches against an Italian side in the future.”
The derby will be the first top-flight match to have been played in Caerphilly since the Castlemen lost 15-67 to Ulster in the Celtic League Pool A in October 2002.
The Blues have won their last four league fixtures against the Dragons, but are searching for a first away win in the Pro 12 since November.
Speaking ahead of the match, Blues head coach Danny Wilson challenged his side to finish the season in style.
He said: “We want to finish with an away win in Caerphilly. They [Dragons] will be fired up, there’s no doubt about that. They have some good quality rugby players, no matter how good or bad your form is, derbies are different.
“We will need to rock up mentally in the right place and fully anticipate a tough day in Caerphilly but hopefully one we can come out on top of.
“The atmosphere could be electric and I hope people turn up – both Blues and Dragons fans – and fill the ground for the last game of the season.
“It’s a unique position for the Dragons and Cardiff Blues. Rodney Parade drums up quite an atmosphere for home games, which is a big advantage for the Dragons and it will be interesting to see how Caerphilly goes.
“It will be quite a tightly-packed ground, it holds about 6,000, which I’m guessing they will fill and if you get 6,000 in a small ground the atmosphere will be great.”
— NewportGwentDragons (@dragonsrugby) May 3, 2017