Wales Rugby League


History & Honours

Valley Cougars PL Winners


The Welsh Conference was founded in 2003 following the success of Cardiff Demons in the English Conference system, where they had competed since 2001, and the desire to spread the game across South Wales.

A meeting was held at Bridgend Town FC in the winter of 2003, chaired by Danny Sheehy, where representatives from a number of potential clubs attended.

Six teams competed in that first season - Aberavon Fighting Irish, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Cynon Valley Cougars, Rumney Rhinos, Swansea Bulls and Torfaen Tigers.

Cardiff elected to stay in the South West of England Conference for that first season to let the other clubs settle in, but when they faced Aberavon and Bridgend in the national play-offs, they were beaten in both games. They transferred to the Welsh Conference in 2004.

Here's how Sky Sports reported on the Bridgend v Cardiff encounter.

The first Grand Final wasn't marketed as such, it was merely a South Wales and West play-off to decide a national semi-final place for a competition known as the Harry Jepson trophy. Bridgend won that match and ended up winning the Harry Jepson trophy, a feat they would echo two years later on their own turf.

The Welsh Conference has seen a number of formats over the years and has been regionalised with a competition also set up in North Wales but it still remains a strong tournament and has led to a number of players turning professional.

Harry Jepson Trophy Finals (Welsh appearances)

National Shield Finals (Welsh appearances)