One of the major platforms of the Ebbw success has been the disruptive scrummaging power of the Steelmen pack. Rob Sevenoaks and Ross Jones will continue their partnership for an eight season, and fellow prop Ian George has also committed for a further season. 21year old Josh James, who impressed in the Fosters cup particularly at Pontypridd, where a first choice pack was marched backwards by a very young Ebbw 8, will join them. Josh, a Tight Head who is happy to play on the opposite head, is looking forward to more appearances after his season was disrupted by a nasty training injury.
With Gethin Robinson retiring the front row union will be completed by Dean Brooker a Bristol based front row forward who spent last season playing for Gala. Dean spent time in the Wasps Academy and has played in New Zealand and for Cornish Pirates. Standing at 6ft 2’ and 19st 10” Dean will concentrate in the tight head role but has the ability to play across the front row and will bring his scrummaging power and carrying to the team.
Joe Franchi will start favourite for the hooking role after a number of standout performances for the Steelmen. He will be joined by the evergreen Mathew “Chunky” Williams who will make a comeback from the injuries sustained last season for his 15th season as a Steelman. The second familiar face returning is that of Tredegar based Rhys Francis after completing his studies and rehabilitation from a serious knee injury. Rhys made a big impression in our debut season in the Premiership with his very strong all round game.
Leaving the club will be Jonny Bowen who came in and provided strong and committed back up after the October injury to Mathew Williams. Jonny was always a real clubman and we wish well back at the Brecon club who are expected to challenge strongly in Division 1 in the new season.