Laugharne RFC players enjoying themselves at The Fountain Inn is a familiar sight - but from now on club members will be doing their bit both sides of the bar.

A group of current and former players have taken over the lease of the pub, better known as the 'rugby club' in Laugharne where The Cocklemen and visiting teams head back to post-match. 

"It was about January time when we were made aware that the current tenants were not renewing their lease," explained Carl Smith, a former club captain who remains integral to the first XV.

"So the talk amongst everyone then was what are we going to do if it shuts?

"We had already moved once before but the Fountain has always been the home of Laugharne RFC. So a few current players and ex players got talking and came up with the idea to take it over.

"Within a week one of these popular WhatsApp groups was created and all of a sudden the ball was rolling and some serious chat was going on. Everyone was positive and were all happy to invest."

Meeting were arranged and a business plan was soon put into place - with the main objective to make The Fountain a central hub for the community and not just the rugby players.

"We felt every group and association in the town should be able to come and use it for events, meetings and gatherings," added Carl.

The group contacted local resident Paul Walker, whose vastly experienced in the trade, and he agreed to come on board as landlord but just as things were moving, Covid-19 halted all progress.

"Felinfoel Brewery, who own the Fountain, were brilliant in keeping in constant touch through the lockdown period although it was well into July when negotiations could get back up and running.

"We were told our application for the Fountain had been accepted and the keys could be handed over at the end of the month which was great news for everyone involved."

The keys were duly handed over and a frantic three week period with 'all hands on deck' ensued, but finally a date of August 17th was set to open the doors.

"We were up against it to get everything in place but we did manage it and have now been open a week," said Carl.

"And it's been great to see so much local support. We owe a big thankyou to Felinfoel Brewery for everything they've done to help us.

And new landlord Paul, who previously served long stints in Whitbread managing establishments like Beefeaters and Premier Inn, admitted things have changed since he asked his wife 'to shoot' him if he ever took over another pub.

"The enthusiasm of all of the others soon caught my interest," he admitted.

"The syndicate is predominantly made up of Laugharne players, supporters and coaches and i have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of them.

"This is a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to the next few years making The Fountain a permanent home for Laugharne RFC, as well as welcoming the local community who have shown great support to us as we have got ready to reopen.

"We look forward to repaying that support by becoming an integral part of the community in Laugharne."