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Ebbw Vale RFC Squad 2019 / 20

With the last few years being extremely tough financially it has become necessary for the club to bow to financial pressures whilst considering the squad for the coming season.

The officials of the club would encourage all supporters of the club to assist in maintaining a strong club by getting involved in initiatives such as Friends of EbbwVale RFC, supporting the club lottery, assisting in raising sponsorship and volunteering to assist in anyway they can

Squad News

Departures

Club Captain Ronny Kynes after 8 seasons, 201 games and 97 tries will be departing to add his considerable experience and driving of the bus to Bargoed’s attempt to bounce back up to the Premiership at their first attempt. This was an incredibly hard decision for Ronny as he has lived red, green and white during his time at the club. His dedication to the cause has seen him play the last part of our Premiership Championship winning season with a broken jaw, this just being one example of how he has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the club. Ronny will be long remembered for his whole-hearted commitment, skill and the famous Catch n Kynes that has become so well known in Welsh rugby. 33 year old Ronny, has been Welsh Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year, Premiership top try scorer and won numerous club awards and will be greatly missed off the pitch where he has driven high standards and kept spirits high as well as on the pitch.  I’m sure all will agree that Ronny will always have a place in the hearts of Ebbw Vale supporters and a warm welcome at the club

It has already been published that Rhys Jones, the top points scorer in the Principality Premiership in 2018/19 will be leaving to join league champions Merthyr RFC. This was purely a financial decision by the club and Rhys has displayed great integrity in this situation that has been difficult for both parties. All at the club wish Rhys a successful season at the Wern and he can be assured of a warm welcome at ECP.

Utility forward Rhys Clark is another who will be departing after 8 years with the club. A hugely talented forward who was equally adept in the second or back row and despite some bad luck with injuries has amassed close on 150 games for the Steelmen. Rhys joined from Penallta and had to display patience in his first 2 seasons at the club, but worked hard to force his way into the starting team where he rarely has had a bad game, Rhys is likely to join Pontypool.

Lloyd Evans will also be leaving the club to join Aberavon to cut down on the amount of travelling from his home in the Bridgend area. Lloyd brought some real excitement and skills to the back row as befits a Welsh 7’s international and will leave with fond memories of the club.

AND NOW THE GOOD NEWS

The club is delighted that the following players have committed to the club

Props

Ross Jones and Rob Severnoaks will enter their tenth season as Steelmen, and will be joined by Joel Harries, Morgan Davies and Luke Garrett

Hooker

Joe Franchi, Rhys Francis

Second Row

Lance Randall, Kristian Parker and Ashley Sweet

Back Row

Owen Young, Dawid Rubasniak, Lewis Young, Cameron Reagan

Half Backs

Dai Jones, Sam Ireland, Matthew Flanagan, Dai Langdon

Centres

Dom Franchi, Paul King

Back 3

Luke Shore, Steff Thomas, Dan Haymond

Supporters can be assured that Greg Woods and his staff are working hard to bring in new talent to the club to strengthen what is already a strong core group and that we are confident that we have the right group of players and coaching staff to keep Premiership Rugby in North Gwent

Everyone at the club was saddened to receive the following news from former player Hayden Jefferies, regarding his father, Sid.

“My father Sid Jeffreys coached Ebbw Vale for one or two seasons after Phil Gardiner was coach, which I think was 1988 – 89. He had especially fond memories of the team and supporters from his time as coach and then later on when I played for both the youth team and second team and we were both  always made to feel welcome. On May 2nd Sid passed away peacefully at The Royal Gwent Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. The funeral is being held on 24th May 2019 at St Cadoc’s Church followed by a service at Gwent Crematorium at 1:30 pm. Family flowers only, donations in lieu to St Woolos Chest Clinic’s Pulmonary Fibrosis Charity c/o Tovey Bros, 9-11 Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 2EH (01633-266848).”

Our deepest sympathies go out to Sid’s family at this sad time.

Fancy the chance of winning some cash while also giving financial help to the club we love?If so, here’s how to take part in the new club lottery:

1 Download the Digi4 app from apple store (free of charge).
2 When it is downloaded there will be a number of teams. Select EVRFC.
3 The front page shows previous draw results and date of next draw.
4 Choose bottom of the page icon to ‘purchase tickets’.
5 Select 4 numbers from 1 to 24.
6 The amount due goes to your basket.
7 Complete transaction (money transferred automatically).

The draw will take place every Thursday at around 7.30pm and the results will be published immediately.

After seeing him impressing with the Welsh Academicals, we signed Toby Fricker for the 2017/18 season and, from the start of that campaign, it was clearly evident that we had signed a player that would be the “talk of the town”. Toby has been ever present in the Ebbw side since joining us and this season he has played every minute of every game. His sheer aggression and passion has not only been influential but infectious in everything good about Ebbw this year. It is with great pride and pleasure that we announce that Toby has signed a two and a half year contract for English Premiership side Bristol Bears from today.

Toby said, “My time at Ebbw has been brilliant and I have enjoyed every second of it. The players, staff, coaches, officers and fans have been unbelievable over the past two seasons and it will be sad to say goodbye, but I am excited and grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to get stuck in. I will look forward to coming to support Ebbw in the future! Thanks again to the boys, staff, coaches, officers and fans.”

We would like to thank Toby for his commitment and effort over the past two seasons and would like to wish him all the luck and success in this exciting new venture.

It was with great sadness that we learned, from his son Kim, that Jack Lawrence, our scrum-half of the early 50s, has died aged 92.  Club scribe and historian, the inimitable Roy ‘Rel’ Lewis, remembers him well, and said, “Jack Lawrence was one of our greatest scrum-halves and an important member of the Ebbw Vale side that won Welsh Championships in the 1950s.  He also played in the Ebbw Vale-Newbridge team that beat the South African Universities (The Sables) before a packed ground at Ebbw Vale in 1957.”

Jack’s former team-mate Francis Matthews was saddened when told the news and commented, “I was privileged to have played for Ebbw Vale in a period when we were such a good side and as a backrow forward benefited from such an exciting player as Jack who would break away at great speed with me in support. Someone once said before a game, ‘How many tries is Jack going to make for you today?’”

In 1960 a Past v Present game was arranged and Jackie Lawrence once again stood out. A real Ebbw Vale clubman and an outstanding scrum-half.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Please note the following fixture changes:

Ebbw Vale v Llandovery Thursday 14/03/19 ko 7:15pm (moved from 23/03/19)

Ebbw Vale v Neath Saturday 27/04/19 ko 2:30pm (rearranged postponed game).

There have been some changes in responsibilities for officers in the club. A new role has been created to deal with liaison between the mini and junior section and the senior team and management. Ian James has agreed to take on this role and as a result Karl Offers has taken over as club secretary.
Ian has been club secretary for 8 years starting at the time of the formation of Steelmen Rugby Limited and his efforts on behalf of the club since that time are much appreciated.
Karl, already known for his role as match day announcer, has been instrumental in creating Friends of Ebbw Vale.