Ebbw team for Saturday at Bedwas

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There’s a familiar look to the Ebbw team to take on Bedwas at the Bridge Field tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, kicking off at 2:30 pm.

Dan Haymond, David Williams, Nathan Preece, Adam Jones, Chris Levesley; Iain Smerdon, Chris Thomas; Ian George, Mathew Williams, Rob Sevenoaks; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Cameron Regan.
Subs: Joe Franchi, Ross Jones, Gethin Robinson, Luke Crocker, Ethan Doyle, Tom Edwards, Dai Langdon, Jordan Howells.

There was a well attended Question and Answer session at the Welfare Club on Tuesday evening, with Head Coach Nigel Davies and Chairman Jonathan Jones answering supporters questions on a whole array of EVRFC-related matters. Here are some selected highlights that have been edited to maintain confidentiality where appropriate:

Q. Nigel, do you plan to stay for a few more seasons?

ND: I plan to stay as long as possible, it’s local for me as I live in Usk. JJ: He’s had other offers but has chosen to stay with us.

Q: You have been doing a lot more TV and radio lately, is that another route of your career to go alongside the coaching or instead of the coaching?

ND: I certainly enjoy it but can’t make a living out of it! But it’s something I enjoy. I’ve done very little this season, actually, but did contribute to the World Cup and the under 20’s games.

Q: Are you Looking for sponsors for next year?

JJ: Sponsorship is very difficult in this part of the world, and we rely on brilliant local sponsors who have been with us for years. Of course we always need more and, as Nigel says, with decreasing funding available we have to keep looking. The market drives what we do. Ideas are always needed such as match ball sponsors, and the gate money is also important. Small chunks work well.

Q: Can you and the players start coming into the bar after the games?

ND: Yes we are mindful that this should happen and it has slipped away this season. Players do want to do it as so many of them are local too. Martin (Cooke) came on board to support the club, in management and organising the team, chasing them regarding training and ensuring they’re mindful of their commitments.

Q: What can the Addicts do for you to help, what do you expect from us?

ND: It’s great the players know that there’s a core of supporters behind them and they definitely perform as a result of that. The players have a responsibility to them, their families and supporters, and they understand that culture, being local.

Q: Could we publish more information on line about players injuries and recovery?

ND: We can facilitate some information on injuries where appropriate. However we don’t want the opposing teams to know who’s injured.

Q: Will pre season training still be local?

ND: Pre-season will be predominantly local. There will be different work on skills like conditioning which is most important. However, we do want to mix it up a little such as working on the beach as they are good for grappling and contact.

Q: If Sam (Nigel’s son) isn’t playing for the Ospreys can we have him?

ND: Yes we asked but no we can’t…

Q: Do you agree that the new website is too complicated?

JJ: We’re not going backwards. It more modern, with more pictures and I think this is easier to maintain and use.

Q: Nigel, you talk about there being so many phases in the game. What is meant by this?
ND: Statistically if you work six phases you’re more likely to get the penalty. We have created a lot of opportunities from this. Our mantra is always “Sets of six”.

Q: Can we make these Q&A sessions a regular thing?

JJ: Yes absolutely fine with this, if we do it quarterly we’ll stop the void of non-factual information circulating.

The postponed match between Ebbw Vale and Crosskeys will take place on Tuesday, April 5th, kicking off at 7:15pm.

Ebbw’s final home game of the regular league season will now be played on Sunday, April 24th, kicking off at 5:15pm. This is because S4C have picked up their option to show a Premiership game live and have chosen our fixture with Aberavon as the plum tie of the weekend.

Head Coach Nigel Davies makes just two changes to the starting line up for Saturday afternoon’s home match with league leaders and reigning champions, Pontypridd (kicking off at 1:30). Cameron Regan and Mathew Williams start for Ebbw, in for Rhys Clarke and Joe Franchi respectively.

The team is: Dan Haymond, David Williams, Nathan Preece, Adam Jones, Chris Levesley; Iain Smerdon, Chris Thomas; Ross Jones, Mathew Williams, Gethin Robinson; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; Cameron Regan, Ronny Kynes, Luke Crocker. Subs: Joe Franchi, Ian George, Rob Sevenoaks, Joe Bartlett, Ethan Doyle, Dai Jones, Dai Langdon, Jordan Howells.

We have received this letter from Ryan Jones, who is the newly-appoainted Head of Rugby Participation at the WRU.

“Following on from the letter in October regarding the nationwide participant survey, we are pleased to announce that the survey is now live. The link to complete the survey is:
The survey is a chance for everyone in Wales to have their say and help shape the game for the future. The survey will help generate insight and understanding into player’s (both active and lapsed) motivations and behaviours for getting involved in rugby. The survey has a specific focus on youth and adult male participation.
The insight generated will help shape a set of proposals aimed at addressing the player retention issues we are experiencing in the game.
I thank you very much for your assistance in this matter.”

The Ebbw Vale team to play Llanelli tomorrow (March 5th) at Eugene Cross Park is as follows:

Dan Haymond; David Williams, Nathan Preece, Adam Jones, Chris Levesley; Dai Langdon, Chris Thomas; Ross Jones, Joe Franchi, Gethin Robinson; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; Rhys Clarke, Ronny Kynes, Luke Crocker. Subs: Mathew Williams, Ian George, Rob Sevenoaks, Cameron Regan, Ethan Doyle, Dai Jones, Iain Smerdon, Jordan Howells.

The match kicks off at 2:30pm.