Here is the latest round of EVRFC signings ahead of the 2016-17 Premiership season. The sharper among you will have spotted that we’re doing this every couple of days, and that’s the plan for the remainder of the close season, until the squad is completed. Stay tuned!
“The Pitmen” is the nickname of the excellent rugby nursery that is Penallta RFC and their products, Rhys Clarke and Chris Thomas, will enter their 4th season as Steelmen. The third former Pitman, Lloyd Bridges, is entering his first full season with Ebbw Vale having joined mid way through last season.
The last season saw a real breakthrough by the talented back five forward Rhys Clarke. The Players’ Player of the Year nailed down the number 6 jersey with some hugely energetic and skilled performances. Rhys also put in a number of high quality performances in the 4 and 5 shirts and will go through the 100-appearance barrier in the coming season to gain his club cap. This form attracted a number of suitors but Rhys has remained loyal to the Steelmen.
Chris Thomas is another who will break the 100-appearance barrier to gain a coveted club cap and will be looking to build on his success of last season. The scrum half provided a razor sharp service to the outside backs and kept back rows honest with his eye for the gap and blistering acceleration. No one will forget his brilliant last-ditch tackle in the Premiership semi-final at Church Bank, turning the much bigger Llandovery centre over as he crossed the line, a tackle that proved both match-winning and title-winning!
Lloyd Bridges is highly rated by departed forwards coach Ceri Jones, a man who knows what it takes to play prop. Lloyd is expected to challenge strongly for the tight head role in the coming season, but is equally comfortable on the loose head of the scrum. He has also proved himself to have a great attitude, working hard in training and pushing the more experienced players for a place.