Our History

The Beginning
Crynant RFC was believed to have been founded in 1898 and played their first recorded game on Christmas day that year against Ystradgynlais. 1904 saw the great religious revival[3] throughout South Wales led by the lay preacher, Evan Roberts. Like many teams in South Wales the vast number of players who quit rugby to follow, or show to follow, a more godly morale code resulted in the eventual dissolution of the club in 1904. The club reformed in 1908 with games being played at Maesmawr field and the Red Lion Hotel used as a clubhouse. In 1912 Cryrant RFC joined the Swansea and District League and moved clubhouse to the Star Hotel which they used until the 1960s. At the outbreak of World War I club rugby in Wales ceased and the club disbanded for the second time in their history.

After the First World War, Crynant RFC reformed and joined the Neath and District League, a league they would win five times between 1922 and 1926 In 1928 the club gained membership to the Welsh Rugby Union. One of the proudest moments in the club's history came in 1939 when former club player, Cyril Challinor, now playing for Neath, was chosen to represent Wales against England. Wales lost the game and Cyril was dropped from the national squad making this his one and only cap.[4] The club disbanded for a third time in 1939 with the outbreak of World War II, though the team reformed again with the end of the war. During the 1940s a second team formed in Crynant, the Crynant Harlequins, but despite local rivalry the clubs merged in May 1950. In 1956 the club gained a new pitch adjacent to Maesmawr field and soon after gained ownership of an old shop and billiard hall which was converted into the clubs first permanent clubhouse.

During the 1950's Crynant saw two more former players capped for Wales, Roy John and C.C. Meredith. Both men, at the time of being picked to play for Wales, were members of Neath RFC.

1961 - present
Though Crynant saw little success on the pitch during the sixties, they did see a fourth former player go on to represent Wales. In 1967 former Crynant player Ron Jones was selected to face England, though at the time he played club football for English team Coventry. He would represent Wales a further four times between 1967 and 1968. The 1968/69 season saw the introduction of a youth side, which would allow the growth of local talent to help strengthen future senior teams.

In 1971, Crynant's secretary since 1927, Rhys Emlyn Williams, was elected to the post of Welsh Rugby Union President. As was laid out in WRU rules he would hold the post for a single year.

In 1983 the clubhouse was badly damaged by a fire. The damage was extensive and the club was under insured; it took until 2003 for the club to finally relieve themselves of the debts built to repair the damage. During the club's centenary season in 1995/96 they were visited by top level Welsh clubs as part of the celebrations; these included Llanelli, Neath and Swansea.