BIG STARTS FOR DEFENDING CHAMPIONS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH
By Gary Baker REIGNING champions Bonymaen Broncos will kick-off their defence of the Wales Rugby League Premier Conference on May 12 with a tough home clash with Newport Titans in a big weekend of action. And up in North Wales, there is a massive opening clash on May 12, a month after the North Wales Senior Nines competition at Rhyl RFC, when Conwy Celts re-run last year's gripping Conference final with Prestatyn and Rhyl Panthers. The season kicks-off in the south with the McRorie Nines Festival at Blackwood 's ground at 10am on Sunday May 5 before the league campaign starts in earnest. Broncos, who beat Bridgend Blue Bulls by 46-28 at Caerphilly RFC last summer, will be at home the following Sunday too as they entertain another side from the east in Valley Cougars. The Blue Bulls will be eager to regain their crown but face a difficult away clash to start with when they travel to the capital city and face Cardiff Demons at St Peters RFC. Torfaen Tigers will be at home to new club Borderer Boers at Cwmbran RFC's ground in their first match, with the Cougars entertaining Blackwood Bulldogs. After the first two rounds of the Conference in the south, the South Wales Origin Match takes place on May 26 at St Peters RFC. The Wales Dragonhearts play English Lions at home, with a venue to be decided, on July 7, before going to Limerick to play the Irish Wolfhounds on August 3, and Scotland Bravehearts at a North Wales venue on August 24. The South Wales Grand Final Day is on August 18, with North Wales Conference Final on May 17, and the Origin Country v Coast match on June 1 at a venue to be confirmed. And, to round off a very exciting and packed season, the very first North v South Wales Origin match takes place on September 1 at The Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground. For full fixtures for the South Conference, click here, and for the North click here.