Ewan, who came through the mini and junior sections at Cefn Coed, has also represented Crawshays, the Blues (age grade) and captained the Welsh Academicals team and Christ College.
On signing with Ebbw Vale RFC, Ewan commented, “I’m buzzing to be signing with Ebbw Vale after a successful season. I’m looking forward to putting on the Steelmen jersey for the first time in the coming year.”
Ewan is currently in his Upper Sixth year at Christ College and is part of the Elite Player Pathway.
Following the announcement of the new partnership between Christ College, Brecon and Ebbw Vale RFC earlier in the week, the Steelmen are delighted to announce the signing of back row forward Owen Conquer for the 2023/24 season as part of the new player pathway
Owen, who has played for Llantwit Fadre RFC, has also represented the Blues (age grade) and has captained the Welsh Academicals team. He has also represented Crawshays and been capped by Wales U19s.
On signing with Ebbw Vale RFC, Owen commented, “I would like to thank Jason Strange and everyone else involved at Ebbw Vale RFC for giving me the opportunity to further develop my rugby at such a prestigious club. I cannot wait for the challenges that are yet to come and I am looking forward to learning off some great individuals within the squad. It is an honour to represent the badge.”
Owen is in his Upper Sixth year at Christ College, Brecon and is part of their Elite player pathway.
The 2013/14 season was our last in the Championship and began with an away game with a difference, it was in North Wales where the WRU had created a new club, RGC, that had the good fortune to have Rupert Moon at the helm. In their programme he wrote “I have to pinch myself at the thought of welcoming the players and committee of such an illustrious club stepped in history as Ebbw Vale.” We responded with a 31-16 win with tries from Ronnie Kynes, Spencer Gibson and a penalty try boosted by Dan Haymond landing four penalty goals and two conversions.
Led by the irrepressible Damien Hudd the Steelmen were in confident mood for the first home game of the season against Bargoed which we won 33-18 after being 13-8 down at half-time. Tries came from Jack Flower, Wes Cunliffe, Sion Jones and Joe Franchi, Ian Smerdon converting two, dropping a goal and kicking a penalty. Josh Prosser also landed a penalty and the scene was set for a season that would end with promotion. Man of the Match was Cameron Regan.
Jason Strange was our head coach in 2013/14 as he is today and comments in the match programme for the Bargoed game still apply – “Success in rugby does not come without commitment on and off the field. Whether taking part in vigorous pre-season training improving fitness and skills, focusing on the development of the match day game plan or an in-depth analysis of performance, all can provide that edge that keeps you ahead of the opposition. Even the smallest attention to detail can provide that one opportunity that will achieve victory.”
Our return to the Premiership began in September 2014 at home against Llandovery that was a thriller we won 30-29 one of many close finishes with the Drovers and more entertaining than our first game with them in 1982. We were in the 2nd Division and travelled west to endure a game later described as being as tight as a club treasurer’s wallet. It was try-less and a 3-3 draw looked likely until our young outside-half, Jason Strange, dropped a cheeky goal and we won 6-3. After sampling the local brew we travelled east feeling satisfied and confident we had found a lad of considerable promise.
Christ College Brecon has announced a new partnership with Ebbw Vale RFC as it looks to strengthen ties with local rugby clubs.The collaboration will see the co-educational independent school and the club work together to develop opportunity pathways for players across all age groups from senior, youth and junior rugby, and coincides with two Upper Sixth players being selected to play for Ebbw Vale next season. Pupils Owen Conquer and Ewan McIntyre will begin squad training with the experienced ‘Steelmen’ team and have the opportunity to develop their rugby skills further by playing at competition level.The partnership is a chance for Ebbw Vale to support the development of aspiring youth rugby players and recruit those with potential, while the college will gain a presence at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium and support key events throughout the sporting calendar.Christ College’s approach of linking with local rugby to amplify the sport at a grassroot level aligns with WRU’s vision of developing the game at a community level. It also supports the school’s Elite Player Pathway programme that aspires pupils to excel in sport and enables them access to additional coaching, individual player development plans and one-to-one mentoring.Christ College Brecon Director of Rugby, Dan Parry, who played for Merthyr RFC and represented Wales in Rugby League, said: “We’re really excited about the new partnership with Ebbw Vale and are looking forward to rolling out the development and player recruitment phase from September, which includes placing more of our current elite pupils with them. Another area of the partnership will be attending club open days and tournaments and utilising our players to help coach and referee these events.”John Patterson, Director of Sport at Christ College Brecon said: “Rugby has always been an important part of life at Christ College and we work closely with WRU to ensure our rugby provision is of the best standard to support pupils who wish to develop their sport alongside their academic studies.“Partnering with Ebbw Vale will open up further opportunities to our pupils who share this passion for rugby.”Ebbw Vale RFC Chairman Jonathan Jones said: “We are extremely pleased to begin an exciting phase of the club’s development by securing a key partner in the training of young aspirational rugby players. Owen and Euan are a credit to the rugby programme at Christ College and our coaching staff are confident that they will perform strongly in the Indigo Premiership in the coming season. The partnership further strengthens Ebbw Vale RFC’s historical link with the region.”Christ College combines its academic programme with an expansive sports provision including, hockey, netball, track and field, sailing, skiing and equestrian and boasts 40 acres of ground which houses rugby pitches, an astroturf pitch, cricket squares, hard court tennis courts, netball courts and outdoor cricket nets.
Joint Captains Announced For 2023/24
The 2 players bring vast experience to the Ebbw Vale Squad with Joe having made 167 appearances and Rhys 119 appearances for the Steelmen.
On being announced as co-captain, Joe commented, “It’s a massive honour to be named captain for another year. I think the partnership between myself and Rhys worked really well last year, and it was a no-brainer when Chippy asked us to do the same thing again this year. I’m sure Rhys will agree that our job is also made easier by having so many good leaders within the team who have lots of experience in the premiership and regionally. I’m really excited to see what this group can achieve this season.”
Rhys added, “Once again it’s a massive honour to be asked to co-captain the team. The progress we made last year both on and off the field was a testament to every single person involved with Ebbw Vale. Hopefully I can continue to play a small part in the journey the club is on and ultimately, finish the season with some silverware!”
Head coach, Jason Strange stated that it had been an easy decision for Joe and Rhys to continue as co-captains for 2023/24 saying that,
“It worked so well last year; both were excellent on and off the field and epitomize what we want at the club. Both are hardworking players with a great attitude, who hold themselves and others to the highest standards and expectations.”
Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted to announce that Evan Lloyd has been retained for the 2023/24 season. Evan has made such an impact at number 10 since joining the Steelmen and last season played in all 24 matches scoring over 200 points. Evan is starting his 3rd season with Ebbw Vale and will be looking to pass 50 appearances for the Steelmen this year.
Evan commented, “Really looking forward to the new season and hoping to really push on after an enjoyable campaign last year. The club has a great vision both on and off the field and it’s something which I am looking forward to contributing to. There’s a great bunch of people involved within the club all striving for some silverware this coming season.”
Amir commented, “Really happy to be re-signing for this year after a very enjoyable first season. Looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season and hopefully a successful season ahead.”