Steelmen Prop Star Rob Sevenoaks Announces Retirement
After 280 caps and 12 seasons with Ebbw Vale RFC the Tight Head Prop has announced his retirement from the game.
Rob joined the club from Abergavenny RFC as part of a new squad assembled by Neil Edwards and Jason Strange with Jason having first coached Rob in his time at Abergavenny.
The position of tight head prop is widely acknowledged as the toughest position in rugby and Rob, universally known as Oaksy became the cornerstone of the pack that won 5 league titles along with Ross Jones, Damian Hudd, Ashley Sweet and existing hooker Matthew “Chunky” Williams. Over many seasons the Steelmen pack became the most feared in the semi pro game in Wales with a scrum and driving game that was hard for teams to compete with. The recent words of British Lion and Wales loosehead Wyn Jones are worth noting when he described playing a cup game at Ebbw Vale “as the toughest and most physical game he has been involved in, the man against him was Oaksy and the front 5 that had started that first game for the Steelmen in Division 1 East.
Oaksy was also a key component in the driving line that became known as “Katch and Kynes” with his good friend Ronny capitalising in become top try scorer in the Premiership in our title winning year
Oaksy has carried severe knee issues for several seasons, a lesser man would have retired but his enjoyment of the game and the love for the club his teammates meant he was determined to carry on if the club needed him
Oaksy has always been a character on and off the pitch, never a quiet moment as he likes a chat, a referee once remarked post game how much he had enjoyed reffing the game apart from one moment in the second half, he thought he may have gone deaf until he realised that the silence was due to Oaksy being substituted! He was always central in any team social and enjoyed spending time with the Ebbw Addicts in the bar wherever the Steelmen played. On a more serious note, Oaksy believed in high standards in training and on a matchday, hard work being his mantra through his entire time at the club
He will be greatly missed on and off the field although he has stated he will not be a stranger at the club and will be watching as many games as he can.
As well as Rob, his family will be greatly missed as they have never missed games and contributed to the club in so many ways and all players, coaches, officials and supporters will want to see the Severnoakes family as often as possible
Commenting on his retirement, Rob said;
What can I say it’s hard knowing when your time is up but I’m not getting any younger that’s for sure!
Jason brought me in from Abergavenny in 2009 and I can honestly say I’ve had the best years up here with some of the best rugby moments but also some lows to. A big thank you to all the players I’ve played with and against, to the friends I’ve made over the years it’s been incredible. A big thank you also to my wife and kids for putting up with me and my moods when we have lost.
A massive thank you to the Ebbw supporters and I look forward to watching with you next season from the bank, you’ve been loyal and brilliant to us over the years even though the bad times.
I’d like to thank all the staff, coaches, physio’s, the Doc Rhys Thomas and kit men especially Ron and the boys for always picking up after me and to death who without him fixing me I wouldn’t still be playing and retired years ago
So a big Thank you to everyone for all the great memories and I wish the club every success in the future and can’t wait to watch next season.
My final words go to my Uncle Phil, my late father David and my mother Ginnie who have supported me through my time in rugby but particularly at Ebbw Vale and didn’t miss a game, thank you so much!