The Annual General Meetings of both the rugby club and Steelmen Rugby Limited will be held in the clubhouse on 11th July at 7pm. Please come along to support this.
If you have items for the agenda please send them, by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org before 6th July.
The agenda will be published 7th July.
The WRU Board has confirmed changes to the Principality Premiership for the next two seasons in order to meet the changing needs of the clubs.
In the first half of the season, the 16-team semi-professional league will be split geographically into two east and west eight-team leagues, with the clubs playing each other home and away. The clubs will be split into east and west Wales leagues with RGC 1404 joining the west Wales league. This will guarantee more meaningful local derbies up to the New Year before all teams come together for the second half of the season.
Each club will then play the other 15 teams either home or away. At the split, points will be allocated to clubs based on league positions so the winners of the east and west leagues will go into the second half of the season with eight points, the clubs in second place will carry seven points into the 16-team league down to the eighth placed clubs who will carry one point, this will ensure all clubs remain in the race to be crowned Premier Division Winners. Every club will have a guaranteed 29 league matches during the season. Principality Premiership clubs will continue to work with the Regions to select Regional Premiership Select XVs for the British & Irish Cup, while the Foster’s Challenge Cup will not take place.
Following an extensive consultation process with the Principality Premiership clubs, the changes have been made in order to help support the clubs from a rugby, financial and supporters’ experience perspective and to fit into the national and regional pathway programme. There will be no play-offs, with the table-topping club at the end of the season crowned Principality Premiership champion in a straight-forward league system.
Ebbw Vale’s fixtures can be found on the fixtures and results page.
A very enjoyable dinner was held on Friday night to mark the end of the 2016-17 season and to present the various awards. Joe Franchi’s excellent season was recognised by the supporters and his teammates as he scooped the Denzil Williams Players’ Player of the Year and Ebbw Addicts’ Player of the Year. Jon Davies, who joined from Ynysddu RFC mid-season, took the Addicts’ Most Promising Player prize.
Rhys Clarke was named as the Clive Burgess Man of Steel, and he and Chris Thomas received caps to mark 100 appearances since joining from Penallta RFC.
The Addicts chose Damien Hudd as their Ivor Evans Clubman of the Year, and he also received the Gareth Howls Captain’s Award. He and Gethin Robinson, who retired at the end of the campaign, were recipients of Special Awards.
Volunteer of the Year was club pastor the Reverend Geoff Waggett, an ever present figure over many seasons.
the irrepressible Ronny Kynes again bagged the Try Scorer award and Bath bound Josh Lewis was Highest Points Scorer.
Many congratulations to all the winners, and to the volunteers and Welfare staff who worked so hard to make the evening such a success.
(Photographs will be added later.)
EVRFC Dinner and Presentation Evening
Friday 16th June
Meet 6.30pm for 7.00pm start
(smart casual wear)
Outstanding money must be paid before event. The Addicts will be at the club from 6.00pm until 8.30pm on Thursday evening to collect outstanding payment.
Ebbw Vale are delighted to secure the services of Dai Jones; other than 4 months at Bedwas he has been a constant squad presence over the last 7 seasons. Dai put in some superb tactical performances during the last season and we all look forward to more of the same off the field. Dai has always been a key element in keeping spirits high in the club and is looking forward to driving activity both on and off the pitch.
Beddau product Carl Lewis joins the club and will bring pace and quick passing to the role. Carl has trained with the club previously and played in the home pre season fixture against a very powerful London Welsh in 2015. He is really looking forward to the opportunity of playing in the Premiership and has previously represented Wales and Blues U18’s.
The long serving Chris Thomas is enjoying a successful season in New Zealand and is now training with a feeder team to Provincial rugby. At the moment it is not clear when Chris will be returning and we will keep all informed as time moves forward.
The other Lewis twin Rob is moving on to play at Moseley as they look to regain their place in the English Championship. Rob was a strong and committed performer during his time back at the club and we wish him success at this new club
The club can also confirm that it has a number of trial players attending training across a number of positions as it rebuilds its squad. Further updates will be provided later on in the summer.
Full Back Shirt
Once again for a 6th season Abergavenny product Dan Haymond will start with a firm grip on the 15 shirt. Dan has proven himself to be a skilled and dependable player who is committed to the club and he will be looking to get close to 150 appearances during the season
Dan will be challenged for the 15 shirt by Garyn Payne, another product of the Aberdare club who spent last season at Bedwas. Well known to our coaches through his time at Coleg y Cymoedd, the 6ft 2” Payne will bring a physical presence to the role. Garyn also possesses a big kicking game and is comfortable on the wing but sees himself as a 15
There are two new faces in this area with Andrew Mann and Gavin Bilton joining January signing Lance Randall.
Andrew played several games for the Steelmen in Division 1 East and impressed with his aggressive carrying and pace around the field. At the time he was unable to commit the required time to training and so remained at the Brynmawr club where he has continued to impress with a number of Premiership and Championship clubs keen to sign him. The 27 year old has opted for his local club and is looking forward to the support at games which he described as “incredible”.
He will be joined by Gavin Bilton who is 6ft 7” and just under 20 stone. Gavin has premiership experience with Bridgend but his rugby has been curtailed by the fact he is a serving soldier based in the London area. He will leave the army in June and will be able to fully commit himself to the training regime required by the coaches. The more observant Ebbw Addicts would have seen his lineout prowess for Caerphilly in the cup final appearance at the Principality Stadium in Mid April. Gavin is another player that is excited to be joining the Steelmen and is looking forward to playing behind our front row
January signing Lance Randall has quickly endeared himself to the Ebbw Addicts with some robust and skilled performances in the second row and on occasions the 6 shirt. Lance is Welsh qualified and went through the Dragons Academy system before playing for Cinderford in his home area. Lance is another who having been out with a knee injury for a year will benefit from a full pre season and all expect him to make a significant mark in the coming season
The club also expects to have another signing complete by the start of training at the end of June and will also be able to call upon the services of lineout expert Ashley Sweet when available from the Dragons.
Departing after 5 seasons with the Steelmen is Joe Bartlett who leaves in search of more regular rugby. The amiable giant Joe has been a pleasure to have at the club and has been a good clubman who has let no-one down when he has been called upon. Joe, who has great rugby skills for a big man, is likely to play for Newport and all at the club would like to thank him for his services. Hopefully, we will see him in our colours again.
There is mixed news in this area with 4 players remaining and 3 moving on.
Dai Langdon will once again cover the 12 and 10 shirts and is fast closing in on 100 appearances for the Steelmen. The coaches will be looking for Dai to provide the distribution for a wider game and to be able to support the younger 10’s in pressure situations.
Competing with Dai for the 12 shirt will be Dom Franchi who has provided some superb performances in the last month after being out for 15 months with a knee ligament injury. Dom’s defensive strength and carrying ability will ensure that the 12 shirt is highly competitive
The 13 jersey will see Srdan Majkic and James Lewis complete with each other. Srdan has steadily improved after joining the club around the Christmas period and is expected to benefit from a wider game plan where his pace and passing ability can be better utilized. Srdan has proved himself to be a capable and reliable operator and will be looking to improve further in the coming season.
29-year-old James Lewis, having rejoined after the sad demise of London Welsh, played his rugby on the wing where the team had struggled for consistency. He will now concentrate on the centre position where he has played most of his rugby in the last 6 years in the English Championship and Premiership. James his highly experienced and will be part of the players’ senior leadership group and has been capped by Wales at 16,18,19 20 and 7’s level and has also appeared for the Barbarians.
Leaving the club is recent arrival Gareth Maule as he has taken up a role as a Sports agent that excludes him from playing Semi or Professional rugby. In his short stay Gareth added obvious class and nous to the backline and we wish him well in his new career.
After 3 seasons Brynmawr product Nathan Preece will return to the club where he started. After overcoming hamstring issues he has been an almost ever present in the Ebbw backline. His powerful defence and carrying will be missed on the field; off the field it will be a lot quieter as he has never believed in silence! We thank him for his great service and hope to see him at the club when time and other commitments allow
With Cardiff have previously publicized the signing of Adam Jones, the club would like to acknowledge the great part he played in our return to the Premiership and subsequent title win. We all wish Adam, a powerful and skillful centre, the best of luck at his new club and hope that the injuries that kept him out all last season and parts of the other 2 seasons are finally behind him and he gets to once more enjoy his rugby.
The club would also like to note the contribution that Jordan Howells, who left for Newbridge in late January and is rumoured to be joining Bargoed for the coming season, made at the Steelmen. Jordan joined as an 18 year old in our final year in the Championship and won a player of the month award in April 2014 as we made the play off finals after finishing second in the league. Jordan is a powerful ball carrier on the field and a great character off it, and we wish him well wherever he plays next season.