Indigo Group Premiership: Merthyr are ready


Speaking ahead of their opening Indigo Group Premiership fixture against RGC, Merthyr coach Gavin Dacey spoke of their intentions this season and Dale McIntosh to Namibia. 

Later pre-season start for the ‘Ironmen’

Discussing his club’s pre-season, Dacey explained how it’s been shorter than normal, “It’s gone well, a little bit shorter than we usually have, but we anticipated it starting a little later as were the original fixture list we seen.

“The boys came in a little later but with the longer season into May we had it was good for the boys to get off their feet and come back fresh.”

Indigo Group Welsh Premiership captain’s (Photo, credit @vivj33)

Chief’s Namibia not affecting Merthyr

With Merthyr Head Coach Dale McIntosh on World Cup duty with Namibia Dacey has been tasked with taking over the reigns.

Discussing the effects it has on the team he said, “It’s been different, we’ve had Rob Sidoli who’s played up here as a youngster come in and coach the forwards.

“He brings something different to Dale [Mcintosh], which is good. It’s been good to have a different eye for detail.

“Dale’s a big character to this group, he has been for a few years.

“He’s a big loss to any environment but it’s also an opportunity for us as coaching staff and players to grow and do something without him.

“It’s a big challenge but I’m excited to see how it goes. He did the first part of pre-season with us and he did a lot of talking to the players last year.

“He’s a very much ‘Over to you’ guy, he trusts in the coaches and players.”

Indigo Group Premiership

Merthyr as favourites

Discussing the tag of being favourites once again after last season’s league exploits Dacey said, “We have got a core group of players from last year, we have lost a few players, particularly behind the scrum or in the front row who’ve gone to play elsewhere.

“This group we’ve got here feels like a new group and our message to the boys is our last day of being champions is Friday. Once that game kicks off we’re not champions anymore.

“This group has to carve its future out. Whatever we’ve done before means nothing now, there are new teams and challenges.”

Dafydd Lockyer
Club captains pose ahead of the Indigo Group Premiership launch. (Photo Credit : Mike Jones / Replay Images)

Rhys Jones “Hugely valuable” to Merthyr

Looking at their new signing, fly half Rhys Jones Dacey said, “He’s going to be hugely valuable. I’ve been lucky enough to play with him, it’s first time I’ve had him as a coach but he’s a very intelligent player.

“He’s a great athlete, he’ll be a real acquisition to us, as will Gareth Davies who’s staying.

“It’s nice to have someone else in the environment in the pivotal positions giving you another outlook.”

Ultra competitive league

With the new 12-team form at coming back into play this season Dacey is looking forward to the added competitive edge.

He said, “I felt last season was really competitive, more so than previous years, due to the relegation. There were no easy games last year, the bottom six were pushing us hard.

“It’s going to be the same this year with 12 teams and one going down. Everyone’s going to be fighting for points.”

Merthyr will be playing in the Super Six competition in April/May

TV coverage crucial for Indigo Group Premiership exposure

Discussing the ongoing TV coverage Dacey explained, “It’s huge for us as a club and as a league. As a club we want to showcase our product.

“It’s good for us to be in the spotlight and bring in revenue through sponsors. People are attracted to the club because of what they see on TV.

“As a league it’s good for us as clubs to advertise what sort of player is coming through the league. Just within the town, the new fans we’ve had from seeing us on TV and for us to keep those BBC rights has been important.”


“Main photo credit”

Daffyd Lockyer
Team captains pose during the 2019/20 Indigo Group Premiership launch,. (Photo Credit : Mike Jones / Replay Images)