SUPPORT from an adventure centre is helping a new generation of rugby players reach for the stars – including a talented young prop from Ruthin.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia has signed an agreement to sponsor Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (RGC) which was set up to fast-track the region’s brightest rugby talents.

As part of the arrangement, players are able to enjoy the huge range of facilities at the pioneering complex in Dolgarrog in the Conwy Valley – including riding the waves in the UK’s first inland surfing lagoon.

The club attracts players from across North Wales and Mid Wales, from as far afield as Newtown and Llanfair Caereinon.

The aim is for senior RGC players to make it all the way to the Wales international team.

Ex-RGC prop Sam Wainwright, from Bodelwyddan, has blazed the trail by making a spectacular debut for the senior team in the second test against the Springboks in South Africa over the summer.

Coming on as a late substitute, the rookie anchored the scrum well and won a late penalty that led to the winning try by winger Josh Adams.

Sam’s heroics in Bloemfontein have provided extra motivation for the new crop of players coming through the ranks at RGC.

Nearly 40 members the under-16 squad took a break from training at their base at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay for a fun-packed afternoon at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, tackling the Ninja assault course and having a go at surfing.


Denbighshire Free Press: RGC’s under 16s enjoying their timeRGC’s under 16s enjoying their time


Among them was loose head prop Wil Hughes, 14, a pupil of Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Ruthin, who had a ball.

He said: “I’ve been playing rugby since I was six and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to join RGC.

“I don’t think I’m a natural at surfing but I had a great time. It was a lot of fun.”

Flanker Zach Manley, 15, a pupil of Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph, started out at Rhyl Rugby Club just like Sam Wainwright.

He said: “I’ve been with RGC since last December and my ultimate dream is to play for Wales like Sam Wainwright.

“There’s a great set up at RGC and a great bunch of lads as well.

“I’ve been to Adventure Parc Snowdonia a few times. It’s an amazing place and I really enjoy it.

“I’ve tried the surfing before. It’s great fun and I’ve loved it here this afternoon.”

READ: Former Welsh internationals to attend big Llangollen event

Head coach Mike Stubbs hails from Ruthin where he followed in his father’s footsteps and played his hometown rugby club.

After a coaching career that’s taken him to different parts of the UK and Australia, he was delighted to return home to North Wales to take up his role with RGC’s under 16s.

He said: “Things are pretty much back to normal now after Covid and the boys are training two times a week.

“Our plan is to push them all the way through and play professional rugby and at the very least, play for RGC.

“Our dream is to see more lads like Sam Wainwright coming through the pathway and playing international rugby.

“The partnership with Adventure Parc Snowdonia is really positive and it’s great for us to be able to bring the lads here.

“They’re just starting to gel as a group so this will really bring them together. It’s a great team building exercise.

“The facilities at Adventure Parc Snowdonia are incredible and we’re lucky we can make use of the resources here.

“They actually have a few surfing lagoons out in Australia so that people can get regular waves rather than wrestling with sharks but they don’t have this amazing scenery. It’s incredible.”