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Teams ready for new season

RUGBY sides in Carmarthenshire and Llanelli are busy with final preparations for the 2018/19 season which gets underway on Saturday, September 1.

Championship side Newcastle Emlyn begin their season with a home game against Trebanos in what will be a stern test for Emlyn.

Trebanos finished third last season, just three points behind Narberth and they will be keen to improve on that.

Emlyn will also be looking to improve having finished eighth in the table with nine wins to their name and they will be keen to get off to a good start on their home ground.

Last season’s League 1 Champions Felinfoel were just pipped in their bid for promotion to the Championship and they will begin the new season looking to replicate the form that saw them take the title.

Felinfoel in action last season. Photo by Darren Harries

They begin with a short trip to neighbours Llanelli Wanderers in what will be a typical derby clash.

The Wanderers finished eighth last season with nine wins to their name but they will be another team aiming for a top half finish.

Whitland, promoted from League 2 West last season, will be looking to get their season off to a flying start when they take on Gorseinon at home on Saturday.

Gorseinon finished fifth last season and will provide a good test for the Borderers on their return to league 1.

Marc Jones will captain the side for tomorrow’s opener, with Nico Setaro, Scott Buird, Jack Mason and Josh Thomas all in the starting XV.

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Whitland are joined in League 1 by Hendy who finished runners up last season and they will also be aiming to make a good start.

They face a Dunvant side who finished second behind Felinfoel last season and will be an early test of their credentials as they look to stay in the Division.

Llangennech take on Aberystwyth in their opening game in a battle of two teams that finished mid-table last season.

Both will be keen to get off to a good start with Aber looking to improve on their fourth place finish.

St Clears enjoyed a successful first season in League 2 West last time around and they will be aiming to improve on their eighth place finish.

The Saints parted ways with Head Coach Mike Jones in the summer but have welcomed Tim Poole as their new first team coach with Lee Glanville joining as Defence coach and Rhodri Jones as attack coach.

They begin their season away to promoted Pembroke who will be eager to get their campaign off to a winning start.

Pontyberem just survived last season and they will be looking to get off to a good start against newly promoted Burry Port.

Ponty had seven wins to their name last season but only just stayed up at the expense of Amman United and they will be keen to push on.

Burry Port will also be keen to get off to a winning start and having beaten League 1 side Llangennech in a friendly last week, that result leave them with plenty of confidence going into the season opener.

Laugharne finished third in League 3 West A last season just two points behind Milford Haven and they will be keen to enjoy another successful season which could end with promotion.

They will start at home against a Cardigan side who had an indifferent season with nine wins and 11 losses to their name.

If all things work well for Laugharne they could find themselves in Division 2 come the start of the 2019 season.