A message of thanks from outgoing captain Richard Brooks

It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided to end my semi-professional career with Llandovery RFC. The 9 years that I have spent at Church Bank have been life-changing to say the least, and I hold the club; the players and coaches, background staff and supporters in very high regard. Not only did I get to play with some world-class players, but the close-knit environment allowed me to make friends for life, both on and off the field. As well as this it’s at Llandovery that I met my wonderful wife Beth, and have since welcomed 2 incredible sons, Caio and Celt, so I have so much to thank Llandovery for!

Thank-you to everyone who welcomed me and my family to the club and made my time there so enjoyable.

A big thank-you must also go to my in-laws, John and Menna for their endless support, and who have not only sponsored me for the past few years but have given others a sofa to sleep on after numerous team socials…mentioning no names!

I have loved every minute of my time at the Drovers. Winning the SWALEC Cup in 2016, countless Premiership 7s tournament and cementing our name at the top of the table year after year with the ‘big dogs’ is a testament to the coaching expertise and player quality the Drovers possess. These are career highlights that I will carry with me forever. But the time comes in every rugby players career to move on, and having had time to reflect, I feel this is my time. The past 12 months have brought its own series of challenges; a work promotion plus a lack of sleep with a new-born baby has resulted in training sessions becoming increasingly difficult, and recovery time becoming increasingly longer!

I used to thrive on the fact that I rarely visited the physio for treatment and wanted to play every minute of every game (a trait I’ve carried with me since my first ever rugby match!) …but last season I found myself on the physio bed every Tuesday and Thursday before training to get my body loose in order to take part. To play at such a high-level week in and week out and with commitments off the field hindering my ability to rest and train at my best, something had to give.

The squad is in excellent shape, and from what I hear about next season with the players and coaching staff Euros is bringing in, there is no doubt that the Drovers will be competing for the title again next year. I wish them all the best and I’ll be sure to support as much as possible.

It was a shame the 19/20 season ended the way that it did. We were gaining momentum entering the second half of the season and had hit some good form winning the last three games against Carmarthen Quins, Merthyr and Swansea. Had the season continued I am confident that we could have finished the season in 2nd place behind Cardiff.

Having said that, I have enjoyed the time off, it’s been lovely spending time with my family even if Beth keeps asking if I’ve changed my mind about leaving, and it’s been nice to switch off from rugby. It’s certainly given me a different perspective on life.

However, a change is as good as a rest, and I will continue playing rugby for my home team, Bonymaen next season, as much as possible. I always told myself that I would end my playing career at Bonymaen, and I thank the club for allowing me the chance to do so. Having said that, rest assured that I will continue to follow the Drovers every week and will certainly come and watch as much as possible. Who knows, perhaps one or both of my sons will will don the red and white jersey one day!

Diolch unwaith eto i’r hyfforddwyr,chwaraewyr a chefnogwyr am eich cefnogaeth a’ch croeso dros y 9 mlynedd ddiwethaf.

Ymlaen y Porthmyn!
Ry’n ni yma o hyd!

Richard Brooks

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Cardiff 16 13 0 3 396 243 61
Carmarthen Quins 17 10 3 4 372 278 54
Aberavon 16 11 0 5 371 272 53
Llandovery 16 9 2 5 344 285 48
Pontypridd 18 10 0 8 394 376 47
Merthyr 18 8 0 10 362 374 44
RGC 1404 17 8 1 8 409 381 43
Newport 15 7 0 8 294 278 37
Swansea 17 7 0 10 246 292 35
Llanelli 15 6 0 9 293 412 27
Ebbw Vale 17 4 2 11 283 351 27
Bridgend Ravens 18 3 0 15 271 493 19