23rd January 2011, 13:30
Valley Cougars ready for Army clash - GAME ON
Valley Cougars host The Army in their first ever foray into the...
Valley Cougars host The Army in their first ever foray into the Carnegie Challenge Cup at Nelson RFC this Sunday (1.30pm kick off).
The game is officially ON as there was no frost last night and the pitch has thawed.
After a successful campaign last season was rewarded with entry into the Conference National, the Cougars have also been handed the opportunity to compete in rugby league's oldest cup competition.
Ahead of the game, club President Mark Rowley said: "It will be our first hit-out of the season and we know that will make it tough for us. But we have recruited well and the players, new and old, are all looking forward to the game."
The first round tie also comes as the Cougars' first outing of 2011, ensuring that the players will be eager to impress on the big stage. Having edged out Bridgend Blue Bulls in the Welsh Conference Grand Final in August, the Cougars have shown that they can rise to the occasion, a characteristic that will prove invaluable during their inaugural season in the Conference National.
However Rowley realises that the hard work has only just begun, and is eager to see the club thrive at a higher level.
"Win or lose, we know it will be good preparation for a tough league season. We're also taking on South Wales Scorpions at home on February 22nd which will be another big test, but we need these games to give our players the best possible matches.
"However this is no warm-up, this is the Challenge Cup and it's for real. Many Welsh sides have played in it before and we're honoured to be part of the greatest rugby cup competition in the world. We may not get to Wembley but we'll be part of that system and we want to get as far as we can."
The Cougars will be one of three Welsh teams to compete in this year's tournament in addition to Crusaders and South Wales Scorpions. The Scorpions will enter the competition at the third round stage, whilst the Crusaders and the rest of Super League will begin their cup run at the fourth round.
*Tickets are on sale for the game priced at £5 Adults £3 Children/Concessions.
Report by Cougars media officer, Karl Jones.