Squad update

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The club are able to confirm that back 5 forward Jonathan Davies has completed his transfer to Bedwas RFC as he looks to gain more game time. Jon, having initially impressed in the Fosters Cup on permit from Ynysddu, joined the club and impressed to the degree that he was voted Most Promising Player by the supporters that season. Since then he has suffered with injuries, and a recent change of job has limited his training time with the squad. Having recovered from several niggling injuries Jon has decided that, at 26 years old, he wanted to play every week. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Jon for his efforts in the Red, Green and White and wish him every success at Bedwas.

Two of the long term injured returned to the field in Friday night’s epic encounter with RGC and all at the club were delighted to see Dom Franchi and Dai Langdon fully recovered from their respective injuries. Their return was timely with wing / centre Paul King ruled out with a concussion that was sustained in the final minute at Aberavon just prior to Christmas,and with Carl Mayer returning to South Africa this week. It is hoped that Carl will return to the club in a short period.

The remaining long term absentees, prop Joel Harries and second row Lance Randall are working diligently with the medical team to meet February returns to action.

Ebbw Vale will play Merthyr at the Wern in round 2 of the National Cup. This is a repeat of last season’s semi final, a close game won by Merthyr who went on to win the Cup.

The match is currently scheduled for 2:30 on January 26th.

The draw in full is as follows:


The club shop will be open on Thursday evening, December 20th, between 6 and 8 pm, so you can buy those last minute bits of Ebbw regalia, without which, Christmas simply won’t be Christmas.

Update: here are details of Colin’s funeral.
Wednesday, December 19th, 1:45pm at St Paul’s Church, Cwm, followed by cremation at Llwydcoed, Aberdare at 3pm.
This will be followed by return to Ebbw Vale Rugby Club.

From Chairman Jon Jones
It is with great sadness that in the last 24 hours we have learned of the sudden and unexpected death of current committee man Colin Brennan.

Colin had a long association with the Steelmen, firstly as a supporter and in numerous roles within the club that included spells as Fixture Secretary, Team Manager, Director and he was also a driving force in establishing a Youth and then U21 team that saw him bring many players to the club who went on to perform with great distinction, among them Mathew “Chunky” Williams, Jason Strange and Andrew Bevan. Over the last few seasons Colin has been a great support to the officials at the club, willing to help out at all times and sharing his rugby experience for the better of the Steelmen. One of the last major tasks that Colin took on was the funding, sourcing and fitting of our new scoreboard and this he did as always with professionalism and without any fuss.

Colin also took on roles at Pontypool, Caerphilly and Rhiwbina RFC in partnership with coach and close friend Gareth Lintern as well as serving as a Team Manager within the Dragons Age Group system.

He will be greatly missed by all at Ebbw Vale RFC and at those other clubs he served with distinction.

Our sincere condolences go out to Colin’s family at this extremely sad time.

There will be a minute’s silence in Colins’s memory at our home fixture this Saturday when we play Cardiff RFC.

Details of the funeral arrangements will be published in due course.

Those supporters who are followers of social media will have seen that, as well as being first to the breakdown, our captain Ronny Kynes is equally sharp with news on Twitter! The medical team has confirmed the seriousness of Ronny’s foot injury, sustained in the latter part of Friday’s victory, with broken bones and ligament damage requiring an operation that ends Ronny’s on field contribution for 2018/19. He will undergo an operation on Wednesday 28th with our club Doctor, Rhys Thomas, and we as a club are grateful to Dr Rhys for the swiftness of the operation and the use of his undoubted sports injury surgical skills. Ronny will continue to play an active part off the field in driving the spirit and ethos of the club.

Head Coach Greg Woods has moved just as sharply to plug the back row gap in the squad and has signed open side Lloyd Evans a product of the Ospreys Academy who has extensive Premiership experiences with the clubs in that region. Observant supporters will have noted his excellent performance for Neath in the fixture earlier this season. He has also gained a wealth of experience with the Welsh 7’s squad, taking part in a significant number of the World Series 7’s tournaments. Lloyd will be with the Steelmen until the end of the season and will add to an extremely competitive and high quality back row roster.

On the prop front, the club can also confirm the completion of the transfer of former Dragons academy and Tredegar born loose head Luke Garrett to the club from Neath. Luke made his debut for the Steelmen as a 17 year old in a league fixture at Beddau and is well known by Head Coach Greg Woods due to his many games for Cross Keys whilst in the Academy and a squad member at the Dragons.

Young prop Jordan Rogers, who can play both sides of the scrum, has decided to make his dual registration with Risca a full time switch as he looks to maximise his training and game time at a lower level to develop his game. We thank him for his loyalty as a squad member and wish him success at Risca where his progress will continue to be monitored.

Centre Dom Franchi is still 2 to 3 weeks away from a return with the ankle injury sustained at the end of the Pontypridd game taking longer than expected to heal. Dom continues to work hard under the supervision of the medical team to ensure a timely and successful return to the field.

There will be some alterations to Ebbw’s matches around Christmas and into the new year.

We travel to Aberavon on Saturday, 22nd for a 2:30 kick off and then play ar Bedwas on Boxing Day, Wednesday 26th. This will be televised but we don’t yet have a confirmed kick off time.

Keep an eye out for travel arrangements on the Ebbw Addicts page and twitter feed.

The home game with RGC, originally set for January 12th, will now kick off at 7:10pm on Friday, January 11th and be shown live on BBC2 Wales.

The attritional nature of the Premiership is now beginning to affect the Ebbw Vale squad and all Ebbw supporters should bear this in mind when looking at chosen squads.

First the good news…
Carl Meyer has recovered from the hamstring strain and will be fit for selection this Friday.
Jonathan Davies has recovered from the shoulder injury sustained at the end of last season and, following a few comeback games with Ynsddu, is now available for selection.
Toby Fricker has recovered from the strains and knocks following the Merthyr game and will be available for selection this Friday; he has, however, requested that he doesn’t have to play in the back row!
James Lewis is also available for selection following recovery from a virus.

The less than good news…
Dom Franchi after sustaining an ankle injury in the final minutes of the Pontypridd game is 1/2 weeks away from being available for selection.
Joel Harries who sustained an ankle injury in the warm up for the Merthyr game has had an operation under the capable scalpel of Dr Rhys Thomas  this week and his expected return is 12 weeks. This is particularly disappointing for young Joel who has performed extremely strongly in the first 8 games of the season.
Cameron Reagan sustained a head injury just prior to half time in the attritional Merthyr game and will be available for selection after this week.
Lance Randall suffered a bicep injury in the Merthyr game. Lance is awaiting a medical review which will be completed this week and is facing a 12 to 20 week lay off depending on medical opinion of the correct course of action for the injury sustained.
Ashley Sweet is still 1/2 weeks away from being fit for selection following the rib injury sustained in the Cross Keys game.
Rhys Clarke having suffered rib injures in successive game is 1/ 2 weeks away from being able to return.

Ebbw Sign Canadian International Paul Ciulini
With a serious current  injury crisis in the second row, the Steelmen have  signed Canadian International lock, Paul Cuilini, following discussions with Steelmen favourite and current Canadian National Coach, Kingsley Jones. Canada will be playing in a World Cup play off in France in the next few weeks and Paul, who has 8 caps to his name, was unlucky not to make the cut for the squad. Kingsley was keen to have him close at hand and battle hardened in case of injury and Paul will be with us for the next few games. The 23 year old, 6ft 5” and 20st second row is a timely arrival and trained with the squad on Tuesday evening in the rain and high winds as a welcome to Blaenau Gwent.
Coach Greg Woods and Chairman Jon Jones would like to take the opportunity to thank Kingsley, the Canadian RFU and its staff for agreeing the move and acting with speed and diligence to make Paul available for selection.

As well as refereeing Friday night’s gargantuan, top-of-the-table clash between Ebbw and Merthyr, Nigel Owens managed to fit in another appointment. At half time, and much to the delight of the young players, he took charge of a demonstration match involving Ebbw Vale Steelers Under 7s/8s.

Many thanks to Mr Owens for doing this, and for not minding having to hurry off for his half time cuppa! In a tweet on Saturday morning, Nigel said, “Well done both @evrfc and @RFCMerthyr for playing a good hard game last night. Really enjoyed reffing it BUT am sorry lads, the highlight of the night for me was refereeing the U7s tag match at half time. Well done all involved.”