Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will laud the “unyielding and commendable efforts” of all involved in the resurrection of one of Britain's oldest and most famous rugby clubs when he attends a dinner at London Welsh rugby club this evening (9 Feb).
Mr Cairns will be joined at the dinner at the club’s Old Deer Park ground by Welsh Rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards who will look back on his career and reflect on some of the great players and rugby that defined one of the oldest and most famous clubs in the world.
The event comes in the wake of a challenging year for the club which saw them cease to exist as a professional club, only to be brought back to life through the belief, commitment and dedication of its supporters, staff and sponsors.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will say:
“London Welsh rugby club is a place where we celebrate Welsh people’s passion for the game - a real home from home for Welsh people living in London.
“And the fact that we will gather in Old Deer Park this evening is made even more poignant when we consider the challenges this club has faced over the past year.
“I want to applaud the unyielding efforts of everyone involved – both on and off the field – who have overcome the hurdles in front of them to bring the club back to life and to bring it back to its legions of fans.
“It is clear that this club gets into your blood and each and every supporter, player, staff member and sponsor should be commended for what you have achieved.”
The Welsh Secretary will be speaking at the dinner on the eve of Wales’ second Six Nations Championship match. Warren Gatland’s men will head to Twickenham fully charged following their bruising defeat over Scotland, and aiming for a second tournament win on the bounce when they take to the field against England.
The event is being held ahead of the Wales Week in London festival - an annual series of activities and events that celebrate and promote everything that's great about Wales.
Through a calendar of events around St David's Day, which galvanises existing Welsh communities in London, Wales Week in London builds a positive momentum across the capital that is distinctly about Wales.
Mr Cairns added:
“Wales Week in London is a fortnight centred around St David’s Day where the very best of Welsh business, sport, culture and public life come together in the capital to celebrate everything that’s great about Wales.
“Businessmen Dan Langford and Mike Jordan - who each have business in Wales - have cultivated this festival of celebration to create a buzz about Wales and all it has to offer.
“I would strongly encourage Welsh men and Women who have made their home in the UK’s capital to visit the Wales Week in London website and sign up to attend some of the brilliant events they have planned to celebrate our great nation.”