January Squad News
The club is pleased to confirm the following signings:
Wing Mike Powell, who has spent the last 5 seasons at Bridgend RFC and prior to that played Premiership rugby at Aberavon RFC has made the transfer to Ebbw Vale RFC following a move to live in the area in the summer. As supporters have already seen, Mike brings with him a solid defensive game and pace.
Joining Mike is fellow winger Aaron Grabham who has completed a move from Llanelli RFC. Aaron scored for Llanelli against the Steelmen earlier in the season and has been a regular try scorer for previous clubs Aberavon, Neath and Bridgend, and adds undoubted pace in attack and defence.
A third back joining the club, having seen service at Bridgend and briefly at Pontypridd, is Ryan Evans. Ryan’s preferred position is outside centre but, as supporters have already seen, he has the skills and experience to feature at full back and outside half.
The final back to join the club is Rhys Jones whose transfer was completed in the last 24 hours from Merthyr RFC, in probably the worst kept secret in Steelmen Rugby history. Rhys’s short stay at Merthyr was a successful one but he was delighted to be offered the opportunity to return to a club that means a lot to him and his family. Welcome home Rhys!
The forwards have been strengthened by the signing from Bristol club Old Redcliffians of second row forward Corey Talbot. Standing at 6ft 9” and around 20st, and a product of the highly rated Clifton College rugby programme where he came under the influence of current RGC coach Saul Nelson, Corey has added lineout prowess and power to an already strong pack.
The club has one remaining squad place and are still looking at potential players to fill it.
One of the major reasons that has led to the Steelmen battling at the wrong end of the Premiership table ithe high level of injuries sustained to key players. The club has yet to see the team named on a Thursday take the field on a Saturday, and this has had an unsettling affect on performances.
The current situation is as follows…
Paul King sustained a thumb injury in Saturday’s game v Pontypridd.He has undergone an operation and will be unavailable for 6 to 8 weeks.
Rhys Francis, who has delivered a consistently high level of performance whether as a hooker or in the back row, suffered a dislocated shoulder in the drawn game at Llandovery and will undergo an operation in the next few weeks. This will rule him out for the rest of this season.
Dai Langdon is awaiting a scan on the knee injury sustained in the Llandovery game with fingers crossed that it is not a knee ligament injury.
Scrum half Sam Ireland is a few weeks away from a return after a concussion sustained in the Cardiff cup game followed by a groin injury.
Long time supporters’ favourite Cameron Regan is having a wrist operation in the next week or so and faces 10 to 12 weeks on the sidelines.
Hooker Joe Franchi is looking for a return to the team following the hamstring tear he sustained in the defeat by Swansea.
Recent signing Lewis Williams has sustained a groin injury which is proving troublesome to recover from, but he hopes to return to action in the next few weeks.
Back row forward Owen Young is on schedule to return in mid February following the knee ligament injury sustained in the Cardiff game in November.
The coaches, players and management of Ebbw Vale RFC would like to congratulate our young Dragons Will Griffiths, Aneurin Owen and Ewan Rosser on their selection for Wales Under 20 squad for the forthcoming Six Nations Championship.
“The club has learned of the serious road traffic accident involving Patrick Harrington.
He is seriously ill in Hospital and I, and all his many friends in Ebbw Vale, together with all in the Rugby Club which he has served with such distinction for so many years, are hoping and praying for a good recovery.
Our thoughts are with Sue, Rebecca and Fergus and their families at this difficult time.
Some may not know that Patrick played a considerable role alongside the Russell family during the glory years of professional rugby.”
Mark Powell QC
Ebbw Vale RFC