Ebbw Vale RFC have secured the services of former Scarlets and Bristol centre Gareth Maule in a player coach role.
Maule, 29, returns to where he started his career having gone on to represent Newport Gwent Dragons, and Scarlets for whom he made 115 appearances before joining Aviva Premiership giants Bristol.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to secure someone of Gareth’s calibre. He’s got a wealth of Heineken Cup and Pro12 experience and is a consummate professional. We are confident he will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and professionalism to the club which will no doubt improve and enthuse the current squad” said Ebbw Vale Chairman Jon Jones.
Head Coach Nigel Davies said, “As a player Gareth brings physicality and both an attacking and defensive edge which he has displayed time and time again at the top level. He’s a talented individual with a mass of experience, he’s shown during his time with me at the Scarlets and at Bristol. We are excited to have him here.”
On signing Gareth said “It’s great to be involved again with Ebbw Vale, where I gained my first taste of senior rugby. They are a friendly but ambitious club and the opportunity to work alongside Nigel Davies in my home region is one which I look forward to.”
The club are also delighted to secure the services of back 5 forward Jonathan Davies from Ynsyddu RFC. The 23 year old has impressed in training, Fosters Cup matches and in a 20 minute cameo from the bench at Bedwas on Boxing Day with abrasive and skilled performances. Jonathan’s development has been held back by injuries in the last few years but, now coming back to full fitness, he is delighted to get the opportunity to develop his career further with the Steelmen.
Ebbw Vale have named a large squad for this evening’s friendly match at Hafodyrynys. The game, which helps Hafodyrynys celebrate their centenary.
This is a reminder that the club shop will be open on Thursday evening between 6.30pm and 8.00pm.
There are a still a few Childs Replica shirt orders to be collected as well aa several pre-ordered Christmas mugs.
There are a few extra mugs available as well as Replica kits and a variety of leisure wear items.
This is the Last chance to buy some Steelmen merchandise for Christmas!
The club has this week parted company with back 5 forward Josh Jacas following availability issues over the last five weeks. It is not a step that the club has taken lightly as Josh is a likeable and talented rugby player. To sustain the growth of the club over the last six years and develop further requires an ever-increasing commitment from the playing squad. The coaches have a limited amount of contact time with the playing group and maximising this is crucial to improving individual and team performance. Where this required commitment is not being met, the officers and coaching staff will continue to take action for the benefit of all associated with Ebbw Vale RFC.
The great strength of the club in recent years has been its unity as a complete entity, from officials to coaches, players, supporters and sponsors. This key component in our success will be safeguarded with a zero tolerance approach to anything that challenges this important element of our ethos.
The officials and coaching staff would also like to take the opportunity to outline our approach to the Fosters Challenge Cup. As a group, we decided that this would be the vehicle to give valuable game time and experience to the young talented players at surrounding clubs. As a group we are sure that this will assist in discovering players who will come into our squad quickly, but also ensure there is a development pipeline of talent that will secure our future as a leading Premiership club in the coming seasons. In some cases this will result in games being lost but the longer-term gain, we feel, is of significant importance to us as an organisation. I would like to thank Darren Venn, who has recently joined the club as Team Analyst with responsibilities for recruitment, along with Team Manager Martyn Cooke for driving this policy forward.
There is some good news for us all on the injury front: outside half Josh Lewis, voted October’s Principality Player of the Month, has been confirmed as targeting a Boxing Day return at Bedwas.
There’s bad news about Rory Pitman though as the burly number 8, who limped off during the game against Bargoed, has injured a posterior cruciate ligament and is ruled out for the rest of the season.
A further squad departure sees Ben Ellis, scrum half, leave the squad – but look out for a large number of new faces in the upcoming Fosters Cup games.
Ebbw Vale will host Merthyr in the next round of Fosters Challenge CUp matches this Wednesday evening, kicking off at 7:30.
Ebbw include new signing Jack Goodey in the starting line up to play RGC 1404 at Parc Eirias on Saturday afternoon. Jack joins from Newport to fill the gap left in the squad by Ethan Doyle’s departure. The 22 year old is the son of former Welsh international Richard and, in the mould of his father, is a powerful ball carrier. He comes straight in for a debut with Rory Pitman awaiting scan results from the knee injury sustained in the first quarter of Bargoed game.
The team is:
15 Dan Haymond
14 Craig Duncan
13 Srdan Majkic
12 Nathan Preece
11 Chris Levesley
10 Dai Langdon
9 Dai Jones
8 Jack Goodey
7 Ronny Kynes
6 Rhys Clarke
5 Max Williams
4 Damien Hudd (capt)
3 Gethin Robinson
2 Joe Franchi
1 Ross Jones
16 Jonny Bowen
17 Ian George
18 Josh James
19 Joe Bartlett
20 Rhodri Dicks
21 Chris Thomas
22 Jordan Howells
23 Ryan Gardner