There is mixed news in this area with 4 players remaining and 3 moving on.
Dai Langdon will once again cover the 12 and 10 shirts and is fast closing in on 100 appearances for the Steelmen. The coaches will be looking for Dai to provide the distribution for a wider game and to be able to support the younger 10’s in pressure situations.
Competing with Dai for the 12 shirt will be Dom Franchi who has provided some superb performances in the last month after being out for 15 months with a knee ligament injury. Dom’s defensive strength and carrying ability will ensure that the 12 shirt is highly competitive
The 13 jersey will see Srdan Majkic and James Lewis complete with each other. Srdan has steadily improved after joining the club around the Christmas period and is expected to benefit from a wider game plan where his pace and passing ability can be better utilized. Srdan has proved himself to be a capable and reliable operator and will be looking to improve further in the coming season.
29-year-old James Lewis, having rejoined after the sad demise of London Welsh, played his rugby on the wing where the team had struggled for consistency. He will now concentrate on the centre position where he has played most of his rugby in the last 6 years in the English Championship and Premiership. James his highly experienced and will be part of the players’ senior leadership group and has been capped by Wales at 16,18,19 20 and 7’s level and has also appeared for the Barbarians.
Leaving the club is recent arrival Gareth Maule as he has taken up a role as a Sports agent that excludes him from playing Semi or Professional rugby. In his short stay Gareth added obvious class and nous to the backline and we wish him well in his new career.
After 3 seasons Brynmawr product Nathan Preece will return to the club where he started. After overcoming hamstring issues he has been an almost ever present in the Ebbw backline. His powerful defence and carrying will be missed on the field; off the field it will be a lot quieter as he has never believed in silence! We thank him for his great service and hope to see him at the club when time and other commitments allow
With Cardiff have previously publicized the signing of Adam Jones, the club would like to acknowledge the great part he played in our return to the Premiership and subsequent title win. We all wish Adam, a powerful and skillful centre, the best of luck at his new club and hope that the injuries that kept him out all last season and parts of the other 2 seasons are finally behind him and he gets to once more enjoy his rugby.
The club would also like to note the contribution that Jordan Howells, who left for Newbridge in late January and is rumoured to be joining Bargoed for the coming season, made at the Steelmen. Jordan joined as an 18 year old in our final year in the Championship and won a player of the month award in April 2014 as we made the play off finals after finishing second in the league. Jordan is a powerful ball carrier on the field and a great character off it, and we wish him well wherever he plays next season.