The top four Welsh Rugby Union clubs

The top tier of Welsh rugby union clubs originally consisted of five regional sides who played in the Magners League. That was slashed to four in 2004 when the Celtic Warriors disbanded. Any professional playing rugby union in Wales at the top level will wear the colours of one of the following four teams.

The Ospreys

Fondly known as the ‘glamour boys’ of Welsh rugby, the Ospreys represent Neath and Swansea. Big name international stars such as Gavin Henson, James Hook, Shane Williams, Ryan Jones, Mike Phillips and Lee Bryne have all played for this successful team. At one point it looked as is the entire Welsh squad was an Osprey player. This Welsh rugby union club had a staggering six players included in the British and Irish Lions squad for the South African tour of 2009.

Cardiff Blues

The Blues represent the Welsh capital and the vale of Glamorgan. Since they were founded in 2003, the club has been coached by the humorously named Dai Young. Although they have failed to attract as many big name players as the Ospreys, they have achieved notable success in the last eight years. In 2010 the Cardiff Blues became the first Welsh rugby union side to lift a European trophy after beating Toulon 28–21 in the final at Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome.

The Scarlets

Perhaps more so than any other Welsh rugby union team, the Scarlets encapsulate the romance and tradition inherent in Welsh rugby. Originally known as the Llanelli Scarlets, the team dropped the prefix in 2008 to better reflect their regional identity which represents Llaneli, Camarthen, Llandovery and Narberth. The team moved from their home of Stradey Park in 2008, where they once famously beat a visiting New Zealand side, to play their rugby at the more modern Parc y Scarlets based in Permberton.

Newport Gwent Dragons

The Dragons play their rugby at Newport’s Rodney Parade, also known as the ‘Dragon’s Lair’.Out of the four top Welsh rugby union clubs, the Dragons have fared the worse in terms of attracting audiences, sponsors, and big name players. Their performances and results have been called into doubt by many of their critics, but in recent years the club has benefited from something of a resurgence. The Dragons represent the Gwent region consisting of towns such as Pontypool, Tredegar, Ebbw Vale, and Blaenavon. The Gwent area is absolutely littered with rugby pitches and has a fiercely proud rugby tradition which has produced many outstanding players over the years.

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