High profile head coach appointment

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High profile head coach appointment

Ebbw Vale RFC is delighted to announce that experienced director of rugby Nigel Davies will take over from the departing Jason Strange in the role of Head Coach for 2015/16 at Eugene Cross Park.

Deeply entrenched in leading teams at the elite end of the game for more than 30 years, and one of Wales’ most passionate rugby coaches, Davies brings a wealth of experience to the role at Ebbw Vale as a former international centre, Wales coach and Director of Rugby at prestigious professional clubs in both the Celtic League and English Premiership.

Davies also worked as WRU’s Head of Rugby Development in 2007/8 looking after all aspects of Welsh rugby development outside the National Team, including age grade rugby, 7s, community rugby, player and coach development and working with referees.

As a player of undisputed talent he played 498 games for Llanelli becoming one of only 21 players to have scored more than 100 tries for the Scarlets where he also played in a record nine Welsh cup finals – winning six.

Davies enjoyed an equally successful coaching career at the Scarlets both as Attack Coach and then Director of Rugby. During his coaching career in West Wales he achieved an impressive track record including; a top three club ranking in Europe, Heineken Cup semi Finalists in 2000 & 2002, six European quarter-finals, Celtic League Champions, Celtic Cup finalists & Powergen Cup finalists, winners of the Welsh Cup on three occasions and winners of the WRU Challenge Cup.

Commenting on the appointment, Ebbw Vale RFC Chairman Jonathan Jones said: “Nigel has vast experience and knowledge which will be of great benefit to both the players and our young coaches as we look to carry on the positive progress with a team that has brought us success over the past four years.

“We are delighted and excited at he has agreed to join us as Head Coach and take us forward – it shows our ambition as a club and I believe Nigel will do an excellent job in leading the squad and developing rugby success in Blaenau Gwent.”

Speaking about his new role with Ebbw Vale, Nigel Davies said: “I am looking forward to be back working in Welsh club rugby and for a club with a great tradition and close-knit rugby community and with a team that is clearly very passionate, genuine and committed to success.

“I’ve been really impressed by the hunger and drive within Ebbw Vale RFC to push forward on the back of an unprecedented period of success on the field in recent years. The playing staff, coaching team and facilities are first-class and the club has a vision and professional attitude that ranks alongside any top flight club I have been involved with.

“What has struck me already is how united the whole team at Ebbw Vale are both on and off the field with a genuine and committed group of people working hard with the club’s success close to their hearts.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the coaching team and the club’s playing talent to help build on the excellent work Jason Strange has clearly done at Ebbw Vale over the past five years.

“It means a great deal to me personally to have the opportunity to contribute and support success in Welsh rugby and everything our game stands for at its best. I will put all I can into my role with Ebbw Vale with the challenge to take forward the great work already done.”

Davies played 29 times for Wales including the honour of captaining his country and in the 1993/4 season played in the Championship winning Wales team. During the same season he was a key member of the Llanelli team that won the treble of WRU Cup, Welsh League and beat world champions Australia touring team.

His tenure as Director of Rugby at Gloucester in 2012-2014 saw him rejuvenate an underperforming Aviva Premiership team in his first season in charge; leading Gloucester to become most improved team in the English Premiership both in terms of league position and points scored in 2013, reaching a European quarter final and winning JP Morgan 7s in 2013/14.

Nigel has an unprecedented ability in developing talent with more than 40 players he has worked with achieving international honours for both Wales and England over several eras of rugby including George North, Ben Morgan, Rhys Priestland, Jon Davies, Scott Williams, Ken Owens, Morgan Stoddart, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, Lee Byrne, Dwayne Peel and Mark Jones. free slots

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