BEDWAS have retained the services of a trio of key forwards as they prepare for life in the WRU National Championship, writes Chris Kirwan.

The men from Bridge Field suffered the disappointment of relegation from the Principality Premiership despite a strong finish to the campaign.

Stef Sankala’s side won eight of their last 11 but were relegated on the final day when Bridgend edged to victory against Pontypridd at Sardis Road.

Bedwas have already confirmed that influential back row forward Jonathan Armitage will captain the team in 2019/20.

Campaign Series: Bedwas' James Richards takeson Pontypridd's Aled Summerhill

He will be joined in the pack by hooker Dale Rogers, back row forward James Richards and hooker-turned-prop Rhys Hutcherson.

The trio boast plenty of experience that will be needed in what is likely to be a fierce Championship battle with 28-year-old Rogers having 50 appearances for the club to his name, 26-year-old Richard has racked up 97 outings while 28-year-old Hutcherson, who played for the Ospreys in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, will play his seventh campaign at Bridge Field and add to his 134 games.

They are joined in committing to Bedwas by backs Lewis Bowden and Jacob Chilcott, who were key figures last season.

Centre Bowden, 28, started in 16 of his 19 appearances while fly-half Chilcott, 24, featured in 22 games.

Players who would like to play for Bedwas at first, second or youth team level can contact Ian Lovell at webmaster@bedwasrfc.co.uk.

Next season Bedwas will lock horns with Championship champions Pontypool, fellow relegated clubs Cross Keys, Bargoed and Neath plus Ystrad Rhondda, Narberth, Cardiff Met, Tata Steel, Trebanos, Maesteg Quins, Beddau, Glamorgan Wanderers and Ystalyfera.