Head Coach Nigel Davies has announced his side for Saturday afternoon’s fixture at the Talbot Athletic Ground against Aberavon, who are currently 3 places and 9 points above the Steelmen in the Premiership.
Dan Haymond, David Williams, Nathan Preece, Jordan Howells, Jared Rosser; Dai Langdon, Chris Thomas; Ian George, Mathew Williams, Gethin Robinson; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; cameron Regan, Ronny Kynes, Harri Keddie.
Subs: Joe Franchi, Lloyd Bridges, Luke Leddington, Joe Bartlett, Rhys Clarke, Jac Jonathan, Iain Smerdon, Chris Leversley.
Congratulations are in order for Ebbw Vale back row forward Luke Crocker who has been selected for the Wales A squad in the he first two rounds of the HSBC World Rugby 7s series to be played in Dubai and Cape Town. Luke and his team-mates will find themselves in a tough pool, where they will face Kenya, England and Australia.
Best wishes from everyone at Ebbw Vale RFC.
With Christmas only a few weeks away, the club shop will be open on the following dates to purchase your Steelmen merchandise.
Thursday 19th November 6.00pm until 8.30pm
Thursday 26th November 6.00pm until 9.00pm
Thursday 26th November 6.00pm until 9.00pm
Thursday 3rd December 6.00pm until 8.00pm
Saturday 5th December Bridgend Match Day 12.00pm until 2.15pm and 4.30pm until 6.00pm
Thursday 10th December 6.00pm until 8.30pm
Thursday 17th December 6.00pm until 8.30pm
Saturday 19th December 12.00pm until 3.00pm
We are an official supplier for the Mumph Christmas Calendar this year. The full size calendar is £8 and the desktop calendar is £5.50. These can be bought at the club shop. Mumph has also created an Ebbw Addict Mugby which can be bought in the club shop, costing £8 each or two for £15. It comes complete with a box!
Other Items on sale: club replica shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts, rain jackets, club towels and beanies.Items can also be ordered using the form on the club website.
Some of the busiest people at the club are our highly skilled and dedicated medical team led by Dr Rhys Thomas and Rhys Shorney. The Pontypridd success came at a cost with the description “House of Pain” unfortunately being true for two of our young players. Dominic Franchi, who has impressed all with his powerful running and tackling during his debut season for his home town club, sustained a knee injury which will rule him out of contention for the rest of the season. Ryan Gardner, a product of RTB’s, who has provided real pace and trickery from the wing position this season, suffered a torn finger tendon which required an operation on Friday; he’ll be out of action for 8 weeks. Captain Damien Hudd is battling a groin injury but should be fit to return in the next few weeks. Rhys Francis, after missing all the early season with a knee injury, is now fit and, having made a successful return off the bench in the Challenge Cup at Cross Keys, will be looking to challenge for a place in the starting line up. Rob Sevenoaks, who has been a major part of our success in the last five seasons, has had a further knee injury following his operation in the summer and is currently working his way through a tough eight week rehabilitation programme to meet his stated aim of playing on Boxing Day against Bedwas. Josh Jacas is another working through a rehabilitation programme following a summer ankle operation, with a return targeted for the pre-Christmas period
All at Ebbw Vale RFC were delighted to see a group of players given the opportunity to join the Regional Select BIC squad. Unfortunately 2 of the players, Dominic Franchi through injury and Ross Jones, work commitments, were unable to take up the opportunity.
The other players, Ashley Sweet, Luke Crocker, Adam Jones and Chris Levesley have spent time training with the squad, joined by our Dragons Academy player Harrison Keddie, with Luc Jones and Rhys Buckley who have also represented the Steelmen this season.
Backs coach Nick Wakeley, having impressed with his 7s coaching success, will also link up with the BIC squad as and when his Steelmen duties allow him too
The club wishes the whole squad a successful and enjoyable BIC campaign, and would like to encourage all our supporters to go along and support the squad in the tournament home games
The whole point of the Fosters Challenge Cup is to give players from lower division clubs a taste of playing at a higher level. Ebbw Vale have embraced the philosophy by including players from 9 clubs in the 23 for the trip to Pandy Park tomorrow evening (Wednesday) kicking off at 7:30..
The squad is:
15 Dan Haymond (Captain), 14 Owen Williams, 13 Srdan Majkic (Rogerstone RFC), 12 Jordan Howells, 11 Craig Duncan (Brynmawr RFC); 10 Simon Veall (Oakdale RFC), Jac Jonathan (Newbridge RFC); 1 Ian George, 2 Joe Franchi, 3 Lloyd Bridges (Penallta RFC); 4 Rhys Clarke, 5 Joe Bartlett; 6 Cameron Regan, 7 Blain Meek (Blaenavon RFC), 8 Michael Jones (Dowlais RFC).
Bench: 16 Rhys Francis (Brynmawr RFC), 17 Luke Leddington, 18 Ross Jones, 19 Jake Conway (Glamorgan Wanderers RFC), 20 Craig Powell (Caldicot RFC), 21 James Hall (Caldicot RFC), 22 Iain Smerdon, 23 Tom Watkins.
Many thanks to all the clubs who have agreed to permits.
There is more of a settled look to the Ebbw Vale this week with just two changes from last week’s starting line up. Nathan Preece comes in for the injured Dominic Franchi and Tom Edwards starts at scrum half.
The Steelmen will need to be on the same form they showed at Sardis Road last week if they are to challenge a Newport team that has improved immensely since losing 30-6 at Eugene Cross PArk in September.
15 Christopher Levesley, 14 David Williams, 13 Nathan Preece, 12 Adam Jones, 11 Ryan Gardner; 10 David Langdon, 9 Tom Edwards; 1 Ross Jones, 2 Mathew Williams (captain), 3 Gethin Robinson; 4 Rhys Clarke, 5 Ashley Sweet; 6 Luke Crocker, 7 Ronny Kynes, 8 Harrison Keddie.
Bench: 16 Joseph Franchi, 17 Ian George, 18 Lloyd Bridges, 19 Cameron Regan, 20 Ethan Doyle, 21 Christopher Thomas, 22 Iain Smerdon,
23 Daniel Haymond.
The Foster’s Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Some matches will take place midweek and some on weekends with three local derbies, Llandovery v Carmarthen Quins, Llanelli v Neath and Cross Keys v Ebbw Vale kicking off the competition next Wednesday evening (November 11).
While some Principality Premiership players will be called up to represent the Regional Premiership Select XVs in the British & Irish Cup.
The competition has been introduced following a wide-ranging review into competition structures across the game in Wales.
Chris Lloyd, multiple account manager for Heineken UK said, “We have links with Welsh rugby on many levels, including supplying seven of the 12 Foster’s Challenge Cup teams with Heineken product.
“We see this competition as a perfect opportunity to introduce younger players to a higher level of rugby. With players like Rhys Webb having come through the ranks at Bridgend, hopefully the Foster’s Challenge Cup will unearth the next Rhys Webb and other stars of the future.”
Ebbw Vale centre Adam Jones said:
“We’ve brought in some new boys from the lower leagues – this competition will give them the opportunity to put their hands up for a much sought-after semi-pro contract. It also gives other players the chance to be rested, while at the end of the day it’s always great to play for silverware.
“We’ve done well over the last five years. We haven’t had a great start to the season but we had a fantastic win at Pontypridd last weekend and hopefully we can keep that momentum going.”
Llandovery’s Matthew Jacobs added, “We’re looking forward to the tournament. It will be beneficial for the youngsters who haven’t had much game time as yet and we will have a chance to look at some young, local players with the future in mind. After winning the Foster’s 7s in August, it would be great to have the 15-a-side trophy in the cabinet too.”
The 12 Principality Premiership clubs will play each other home and away in three pools of four, with semi-finals and a final set for the spring.
Carmarthen, Llandovery, Llanelli, Neath
Aberavon, Bridgend, Cardiff, Pontypridd
Bedwas, Cross Keys, Ebbw Vale, Newport
Foster’s Challenge Cup Round One fixtures:
Wednesday 11 November
Llandovery v Carmarthen Quins (7.15pm)
Cross Keys v Ebbw Vale (7.30pm)
Llanelli v Neath (7.30pm)
Saturday 14 November (all 2.30):
Aberavon v Pontypridd
Bridgend v Cardiff
Newport v Bedwas
The home fixtures of the Gwent Premiership Select XV, playing in the British and Irish Cup, have now been confirmed as follows:
Sunday 22nd November Jersey @ Cross Keys RFC 3pm – Live on S4C
Saturday 19th December Doncaster @ Bedwas RFC 3pm
Saturday 23rd January Connacht @ Ebbw Vale RFC 3pm