Rugby fans converted by new Kassam home

thisisoxfordshire: Fans get into the spirit Buy this photo Fans get into the spirit

TOP flight rugby was given a warm reception in Oxford yesterday and fans say the support can only get better.

An estimated 6,850 rugby union fans came to see new local team London Welsh play Leicester Tigers in their first home game of the Premiership season.

But the freshly promoted home side lost 13-38 to the nine-time English champions at the Kassam Stadium .

Martin John, chairman of the London Welsh Supporters Club, said: “The stadium was magnificent.

“There was a good turnout and the crowds can now only grow as people realise what great rugby they can see.

“Having premiership rugby in Oxford is ideal. There are a lot of Welsh people in the area, hundreds of students, and lots of rugby clubs.”

The Kingston-based club was promoted to the Aviva Premiership earlier this year, but had to fight a ruling which found it did not meet the criteria for top level rugby.

David Parry, 50 from Witney, said: “When they got promoted it was a fantastic opportunity to go and see top flight rugby in Oxford.

“They always say Oxford is more of a rugby town than a football town but we will see.”

Another fan, Aaron Lee, 23, from Brize Norton, said: “We are pretty excited. It’s the first time there has been a team we want to watch in the vicinity.”

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Oxford City Council leader Bob Price is a longstanding London Welsh fan and said: “It was a good crowd and there was a very good atmosphere in the ground.

“Obviously there was a lot of support for the Leicester Tigers, but there was a good home support for London Welsh.

“I am sure there will be more support for the club because they are an interesting side with some good players.”

London Welsh fan Dan Lewis , 27, from Hemel Hempstead, said: “First impressions of the ground were very good. The parking was fantastic and it’s lovely to have such a fantastic facility.

“I’m hoping as the season goes on we will gain more local support. Our crowds last season were 700 and I’m hoping this year we will at least double that.”

Scores of fans gathered at The Priory pub before the 2pm kickoff. The next home match is on Sunday, September 16, against Exeter Chiefs.

Comments (4)

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3:11pm Mon 3 Sep 12

BigOx22 says...

This guy needs to go watch the football and think about the parking then! London Welsh fan Dan Lewis , 27, from Hemel Hempstead, said: “First impressions of the ground were very good. The parking was fantastic.
The parking is shocking at the Kassam! I am just glad I can park at the my Uncles 2 mins from the ground! Good Luck with the rugby season. Rugby isn't my game.
This guy needs to go watch the football and think about the parking then! London Welsh fan Dan Lewis , 27, from Hemel Hempstead, said: “First impressions of the ground were very good. The parking was fantastic. The parking is shocking at the Kassam! I am just glad I can park at the my Uncles 2 mins from the ground! Good Luck with the rugby season. Rugby isn't my game. BigOx22
  • Score: -2

4:35pm Mon 3 Sep 12

wantagejack says...

The traffic from Heyford Hill roundabout to the ground was dreadful - it took over 50 minutes. Cars were queue jumping off the A4074 and round Grenoble Road. Lots of people arrived late. The car park was overflowing and cars were parking all over the place - having left just before the final whistle to avoid another horrendous jam, I saw several had been blocked in. There were no police or stewards directing traffic until the actual car park. If that is what it is like with under 7,000 attending, I dread to think what would happen with a near capacity crowd (when matches are not televised). Instead of blocking off their grounds, couldn't the Science Park open up their parking? London Welsh need to look at the whole issue or they will lose supporters who won't want to go through that again. That would be a pity, as Premiership Rugby could be a great asset to Oxford, and London Welsh have the makings of a good team, with plenty of potential support.
The traffic from Heyford Hill roundabout to the ground was dreadful - it took over 50 minutes. Cars were queue jumping off the A4074 and round Grenoble Road. Lots of people arrived late. The car park was overflowing and cars were parking all over the place - having left just before the final whistle to avoid another horrendous jam, I saw several had been blocked in. There were no police or stewards directing traffic until the actual car park. If that is what it is like with under 7,000 attending, I dread to think what would happen with a near capacity crowd (when matches are not televised). Instead of blocking off their grounds, couldn't the Science Park open up their parking? London Welsh need to look at the whole issue or they will lose supporters who won't want to go through that again. That would be a pity, as Premiership Rugby could be a great asset to Oxford, and London Welsh have the makings of a good team, with plenty of potential support. wantagejack
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Mon 3 Sep 12

knowall999 says...

Egg chasers ruining the pitch while lining that parasite Kassams pockets even more....the sooner OUFC relocate the better,the Ka$$am stadium is a cheaply built blot on the landscape
Egg chasers ruining the pitch while lining that parasite Kassams pockets even more....the sooner OUFC relocate the better,the Ka$$am stadium is a cheaply built blot on the landscape knowall999
  • Score: -2

3:27pm Tue 4 Sep 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

knowall999 wrote:
Egg chasers ruining the pitch while lining that parasite Kassams pockets even more....the sooner OUFC relocate the better,the Ka$$am stadium is a cheaply built blot on the landscape
Where are they planning on moving to?

With B&Q closing down, could they perhaps move into central Cowley? The locals there are aghast at "losing" a leisure facility and would no doubt welcome one they could walk to. There are over 2000 parking spaces at the shopping centre for travelling fans.
[quote][p][bold]knowall999[/bold] wrote: Egg chasers ruining the pitch while lining that parasite Kassams pockets even more....the sooner OUFC relocate the better,the Ka$$am stadium is a cheaply built blot on the landscape[/p][/quote]Where are they planning on moving to? With B&Q closing down, could they perhaps move into central Cowley? The locals there are aghast at "losing" a leisure facility and would no doubt welcome one they could walk to. There are over 2000 parking spaces at the shopping centre for travelling fans. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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