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Cup encounter revives the rag-doll tradition.

The Scarlets' Powergen Cup showdown with Bath will see the revival of not only their cross-border rivalry but also the unique tradition between the teams.

These two famous rugby clubs first clashed on October 19, 1896 and, since 1921, they have done battle for a one-off mascot.

A rag doll was presented by T R Mills, of the Salutation Hotel, Llanelli - then the club's headquarters - to E F Simpkins, the Bath chairman.

From then on during every encounter between the sides, the doll (pictured with Alix Popham) would appear - draped in the colours of the most recent victor - and hang from one of the goalposts.

Ieuan Evans, Phil Bennett, Scott Quinnell, Jeremy Guscott, Stuart Barnes and John Hall are all among those to have held the rag doll aloft.

Former Scarlets star Quinnell said, 'The two clubs have had some fantastic encounters over the years and two things could always be relied on: the rag doll and a great open brand of rugby.'

The Scarlets - who lead the series 93-37 with seven draws - are the current rag doll holders, courtesy of their 27-10 Heineken Cup quarter-final triumph at The Rec four years ago.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 4, 2006
Words:193
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