A former Rugby Academy star at Rydal Penrhos is set to reach a significant landmark for RGC 1404 this weekend.
Joe Simpson, who left the school in 2012, has been named in the starting line-up for the Gogs’ in their WRU National Cup clash against Newport at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (6.30pm), which will be his landmark 150th appearance for the club.
The physical forward has been one of the mainstays of the squad during their meteoric rise to the Principality Premiership, and Simpson is looking to aid is side to further cup success after they famously lifted the competition for the first time in their history in 2017.
Speaking to the official RGC website, Simpson said: "It is a change of focus this weekend with the cup game. We were disappointed last season with losing at Ebbw Vale in the first round, especially as we were holders.
“It is going to be a tough game and following our last game vs Newport we know we need to up our game to get the win."
Simpson was one of the first members of the Rydal Penrhos Rugby Academy which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union, which has produced a host of senior squad members for the Gogs, Welsh youth internationals and other successful graduates that are plying their trade at high-profile professional and semi-pro clubs across the country.
Scrum-half Efan Jones, Dion Jones, Danny Cross and Mei Parry are other former Rugby Academy graduates that have been named in the squad.
Photos by Martin Vaughan and Tony Bale.