All the latest rugby gossip from Pembrokeshire

This week, Fraser Watson reveals the county squad to face Valero, talks 'Snowy' buzzing back, Young Otters excelling, and Six Nations disruption.

Scourfield unveils selection:

Gareth Scourfield has done great work thus far in organising a Pembrokeshire county side to face Valero. March 7th (at Bierspool) is geared up to be a big day and above all, will raise funds for Gareth's nephew Owen who has Pitt-Hopkins syndrome.

He has revealed his selection of the county side and ensured many clubs are represented, aside from those in re-arranged league action. John Davies and Randal Williams (Crymych) will be coaches with Freeman Brawn (Narberth) the team manager.

Forwards: Jack Davies (Quins), Mike Ryan (Whitland), Steff Harris (Crymych), Rhys Price (St Davids), Scott Powell (Pembroke), Ryan Banner (Narberth), Mark Russell (Neyland), Wyndham Williams (Tenby), Dave Reynolds (Llangwm), Owain Evans (Neyland), Dominic Colman (Pembroke), Rhys Davies (Crymych), Iestyn Evans (Neyland), Jack Mason (Whitland).

Backs: Dan McClelland (Milford), Lloyd Thomas (Tenby), Toby Smith (Pembroke), Steve Martin (Milford), Josh Thomas (Quins), Carwyn Phillips (Crymych), Jordan Asparassa (Quins), Joe Owen (Tenby), Rhys Morgan (St Davids), Fraser Watson*.

*Seemingly named on basis I'll be there working anyway. Dependent on finding boots....

Valero will be no village rugby side either. Their full squad isn't confirmed yet, but Scourfield himself is 'player' coach alongside cousin Lee, Chris James (Narberth), and Nathan Williams (Milford). Players set to be involved include Jonathan Rogers (Narberth), Jack Price (Quins), Geoff Martin (Tenby), Owain Watkins (Maesteg Quins), and Lewis Davies (Pembroke).

‘Snowy’ buzzing back:

I like it when local players who have plied their trade at regional or Premiership level later return to play rugby in Pembrokeshire.

It shows humility and an intent to give something back to the county. Furthermore, it drags up the standards of players around (and against) them.

Matthew ‘Snowy’ John has had impressive stints at Cardiff, Bedwas, and Carmarthen Quins but after injury problems, is currently helping out with coaching at Llangwm RFC. And last week he debuted for The Wasps as a player in their 15-15 draw with Neyland.

Of course, like all big time Charlies he tried to run the show from No 10 instead of his usual position of centre but regardless, it will boost Llangwm immensely were he to play regularly from now till the end of the season.

It will also keep a few opposition back rows honest too.

Young Otters come of age:

The Pembrokeshire Youth League (I refuse to label it Scarlets West) has now concluded before splitting into two for the meritocracy play offs.

And top of the tree were Narberth youth, who won all 10 of their league matches. Furthermore, they cemented their progress on Saturday by digging out a 9-0 win away at St Peters (Cardiff) to make the quarter finals of the Welsh Youth Cup.

But what now remains to be seen is whether these youngsters will have the chance to fulfil their potential in a senior Narberth shirt. The first team have undoubtedly stood alone as the county’s top side for a number of years now and therefore, can argue the policy of bringing in talent from elsewhere is justifiable.

The club has also revamped it’s second team in hope of bridging the gap between youth and seniors but still, too many good young players have come through the ranks at the Lewis Lloyd only to then have to go elsewhere for first team rugby.

Perhaps this current crop can buck that trend.

Scuppered by Six Nations:

As international rugby goes, it’s the most favourable time of the year. As grassroots rugby goes, it’s the least.

Bar a few re-arranged games, clubs will lose five of the next seven Saturdays to the Six Nations. And will do so at a critical point with some teams already facing an end of season backlog.

It’s understandable not to schedule league fixtures when Wales play in Cardiff. The last thing the WRU want to do is deter people from filling up the Principality.

But there are solutions. Early kick offs when Wales are away in England and Ireland is a perfectly feasible concept, as is shifting games to Sundays. It may mean some have to refrain from hitting double figures in jagerbombs the night before but when you’re supposedly committed to a side, it’s not the greatest sacrifice.

Instead, for the next two months our clubs will see a drop in training numbers, limited match practice, and disruption to momentum.

And as much as coaches will warn against the above, it’ll be almost impossible to stop.