Squad updates: Josh to Bath, Chris to NZ

HOME > Squad updates: Josh to Bath, Chris to NZ

Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted to announce that Josh Lewis has signed a contract with one of the leading teams in UK rugby. After returning from a spell at the Scarlets that was blighted by a serious knee injury, Josh quickly recaptured the form that had previously delighted the Steelmen faithful. His form gained the attention of Bath who have added him to a very strong back division and, amongst others, he will compete with fellow Welshman Rhys Priestland for the number 10 position.

Josh is currently sidelined by a concussion sustained in the Pontypridd game but is determined to wear the Steelmen shirt prior to his switch to Bath.

This is a great opportunity for Josh and all staff at Ebbw Vale will be pleased that they have helped him to return to the full time game. It also emphasises to any young player that Ebbw Vale and the Premiership can provide a springboard into the professional game

At the same time Josh’s partner in many games for the Steelmen, Chris Thomas, has left for a period playing in New Zealand. It is hoped that Chris will return to the club next season having reached the 100 game landmark this season. Chris‘s eye for a gap and pace has seen the Penallta product score over 20 tries in the last 5 seasons, as well as pulling off some match saving tackles. He has played a major part in the success of the Steelmen and we wish him well on what will be a great life and rugby experience.

International rugby returns to Ebbw Vale this Sunday afternoon, March 26th. The Wales u18 team take on their English counterparts in a match that kicks off at 3:45pm. Tickets will be available on the gate at £5, with free entry for under 16s.

During what was a full blooded cup game v Merthyr RFC there was an unfortunate incident involving Jonathan Davies spitting at an opposition player. This has no place at Ebbw Vale RFC or within sport in general.

Jonathan, as a highly promising young player, was playing in the biggest game of his career to date and the adrenaline and excitement severely clouded his judgment leading to his mistake.

In light of this, Ebbw Vale RFC has suspended Jonathan with immediate effect and this will remain in place up to the disciplinary hearing by the WRU. Any repeat behaviour will lead to Jonathan being dismissed by the club and he fully understands and respects that.

To his credit Jonathan has fully admitted his mistake and is upset by his actions and will work with Coaching Staff and Officials to ensure there is no repeat of this behavior in the future

The following is a message from Jonathan:

“I would like to apologise to you all for what happened on the weekend. What I did has no place in sport, straight away I knew that I had messed up and was disappointed in myself. The incident happened in full view of my family leading to their embarrassment and shame in my actions.

I take full responsibility for my actions and what I did was completely out of order and will not happen again. Despite being a heat of the moment reaction, spitting has no place in sport.

Having really enjoyed the reception from the supporters at the club, it is only right that having apologised to the coaches, captain and players I give the same respect to the supporters at the club.”

The funeral of former club secretary Ray Powell will take place at Mount Pleasant Chapel, Ebbw Vale at 1pm on Wednesday 22 March followed by cremation at Llwydcoed.

It was a big weekend for our life member, scribe, friend and all-round thoroughly good egg: Roy ‘REL’ Lewis celebrated his 90th birthday – and in some style, knowing the Lewis family! As well as his family, Roy’s great loves in life are Ebbw Vale rugby, rugby in general, the Welsh Guards, Frank Sinatra and a nice glass of red. It is said that the telephonist at his former employer used to enquire of anyone who asked to speak to him, “Is it the rugby or the Guards?”

Roy Lewis

At 90, his writing on rugby remains as perceptive and witty as ever. I can vouch for this as an avid reader of his programme notes – and in recent years his website articles – going back to 1976.

Many happy returns from everyone at Ebbw Vale RFC, Roy!

Along with rugby people all over Wales and beyond, we at Ebbw Vale RFC was deeply saddened to hear the news last weekend of the tragic and untimely death of Welsh rugby international, Elli Norkett. Many older Ebbw Vale supporters will recall that Elli’s father, Kim, played at scrum half for us in the mid 1980s, as well as representing Breconshire on many occasions.

Elli’s death represents a sad loss for everyone who knew, loved and admired this talented young woman, described by her friend and team-mate, Shona Powell-Hughes, as, “A unique and irreplaceable character that could light up any room she walked into with just her smile – a smile which made you smile”.

We send our heartfelt condolences to Elli’s family.