Dai Llewellyn was a stalwart for Ebbw Vale in the 90s and represented the club in two spells as well as gaining experience playing in New Zealand. The scrum half was fortunate enough to play for Wales four times in 1998 and 1999 including scoring a try against Japan in the 1999 Rugby World Cup at the Millennium Stadium. He also featured for the Barbarians and captained Wales 7s. Dai joined media assistant Haydn Evans last week for a new series looking into some famous Ebbw games from the past through the eyes of those that were there.

Treorchy v Ebbw Vale, 1995

Ebbw Vale were promoted to the Premier Division in 1995 after defeating Narberth in the Division One final and struggled in their first season back in the top-flight.

“We had a crisis meeting with Paul Russell, the week before after being smashed by Llanelli by 70/80 points. We sacked the coaches and basically coached ourselves that season”.

“That was a turning point in the history of Ebbw Vale rugby club because we beat Treorchy that day and then went on to beat Abertillery in the local derby the week after, which was massive in us staying up”.

Ebbw Vale 19-11 Toulouse, 1998

Ebbw had come in for a drubbing in the South of France in the away fixture, losing 108-16, the heaviest defeat in a Heineken Cup match ever. Dai had pulled out of the defeat in Toulouse after turning his ankle but was fit to play in the clash at Eugene Cross Park with a number of changes being made to the team.

“We picked a young side and no one expected us to win” he said.

“Jason Strange hadn’t played many games at outside-half but he had a really good game with myself as the halfback’s which always helps. They dropped a few high balls from box kicks early on and I thought we would have them, I think it might have been a little too cold for their fingertips”.

The clash at Eugene Cross Park became an infamous game in European rugby with scuffles breaking out all over the field leading to a number of yellow and red cards, as well as an altercation between the French players and Ebbw supporters in the clubhouse afterwards.

“We didn’t just beat them that day, we beat them up as well” Llewellyn laughed.

“The forwards fronted up, one player that deserves a mention was a young Lee Banks who was fantastic that game, Lee has unfortunately passed away, but he was great that day”.

The brutality of the game took its toll on Llewellyn who thought he’d fractured his jaw, but this didn’t stop him being involved in Wales’ test with South Africa the following week.

“I think that’s a day that will go down in European rugby history, the little Valleys side beating the French giants!”

Ebbw Vale 25-0 Swansea, 1995

Another game from the 1995 season and a match that was significant in Ebbw staying in the Premier Division. However, this game was particularly memorable for Llewellyn for a more personal reason.

“Unfortunately, my father had passed away during that season and I had taken some time off for the funeral and for bereavement”.

In his first game back, Ebbw faced a massive test against a Swansea side containing twelve internationals including Colin Charvis and Garin Jenkins.

“It was an emotional game for me, my Dad never missed a game. Dorian Medlicott came up to me in the club afterwards and said, ‘I knew you were going to win today as soon as you walked into that changing room’”.

“The players, staff and supporters at Ebbw Vale helped me so much when my father passed away. Ebbw even to this day has this Valleys spirit and players want to play for each other”.

If you’d like to feature in our next ‘My Favourite Ebbw Games’ piece, then email media@evrfc.co.uk or contact us on social media @evrfc.

Worcester born prop Whiting, who joined Ebbw last season after a spell in Australia chats with Haydn about the love for his home club Worcester RFC, his experiences in Oz and how the move to Ebbw came about in this episode of the Steelman in focus series.
The former Cardiff Blues and Wales u20 back joins Haydn for this week’s episode of the Steelman in Focus series. Centre Smith is one of Ebbw’s latest recruits having joined last summer after spending the last few years as part of Wales 7s core squad which was put on hold due to COVID.
In this episode Daf talks of his disappointment at having to stop 7s, why Ebbw was the perfect fit and what his ambitions in the 15s game are.

Back-five forward Dan Hill joins new media assistant Haydn Evans in a new feature for the Steelmen’s website and Ebbw Vale TV YouTube channel.

Watch the interview here: https://youtu.be/Aug8BnWfgAM

Dan joined Ebbw in 2019 and talks about his journey in rugby so far which has seen him play at Swansea University, Guernsey, Clifton, Bath A and Wales Students as well as how he has coped with lockdown and keeping fit from home.

Watch until the end to see Dan spill the beans on the funniest & feistiest Steelmen.

Who would you like to see and hear from on the next Steelman in focus video?

Everyone associated with Ebbw Vale RFC was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Darryl Preece, one of our longest standing and most committed supporters. His brother Martin, a formidable hooker for us in the early 60s, recalled Darryl’s passion for the Steelmen, saying, “I don’t think he missed many matches over the years — even wet Wednesday evenings in west Wales during those fantastic cup runs!”

We send our sincere condolences to Darryl’s family. He will be greatly missed.

Head Coach Greg Woods has led the congratulations to centre Aneurin Owen and prop Chris Coleman who have earned new contracts with the Dragons. Both players became firm favourites with Ebbw supporters over recent seasons, and impressed for Wales Under 20s.
“Llongyfarchiadau, bois,” from all at Eugene Cross Park.

Join us online to reminisce old times with current and former players the night before the Wales v England game in the 2021 6 Nations. Friday 26th of February at 7:30pm, a great chance to have a pint, social and talk everything Ebbw Vale and Welsh rugby!

Our very own Dale Winton ‘Greg Woods’ will be hosting a question-and-answer session with the players along with stories of years gone by.

Our Special Guests for the evening are:

Richard Smith
Lenny Woodard
Jonathan Hawker
Alun Harries
Josh Lewis
Rhys Jones
Joe Franchi

To register to gain access to our club zoom please email marketing@evrfc.co.uk by Monday 22nd February

We are taking donations to support our fundraising for the club’s charity Hospice Of The Valleys if you would like to make a donation but you don’t have to.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-the-steelmen-hospice-of-the-valleys

Date 26th February
Time 7:30pm
Location: Ebbw Vale RFC ZOOM Online

Ebbw Vale supporters can now purchase our reusable branded face coverings so you can stay safe.

Following on from a high uptake on the first order we now have in stock a number of the VX-3 Ebbw Vale RFC face coverings, priced at £6 each.

The face covers are available in adult and juniors sizes and are washable, reusable, provide a large covering and are triple layer in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for non medical masks.

The latest advice from the Welsh Government, based on updated guidance from the WHO, is to wear face coverings in situations where social distancing is not possible, such as on public transport. For more information from the Welsh Government click https://gov.wales/3-layer-face-coverings-recommended-not-mandatory-certain-situations-wales

Due to the current pandemic the club will only be posting these out, when ordering your mask please provide your address and also postage will be an additional cost on top of the mask price. Postage is £1.50 *depending on how many masks are bought, and is the only delivery option under current circumstances.

To order and purchase your Ebbw Vale RFC Face Covering email marketing@evrfc.co.uk 

Please note: All of our face coverings are for personal use. They are not suitable for hospital / medical use and therefore do not take away from NHS supplies. They are NOT medical grade masks or personal protective equipment (PPE). For more information please click https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus