Steelmen retain entire front row
The news that hooker Rhys Francis would be leaving the club to help him resolve his shoulder injury issues have already been published. However, the news gets better in the front row for Ebbw fans as the entire front row that remains, signs up.
Ebbw Vale have prided themselves on forward prowess for decades. The likes of Gareth Howls and Clive Burgess have carved that mantra into the turf at Eugene Cross. In more recent years it’s been Ross Jones and Rob Sevenoaks in the front row that have carried that torch, and they will do so for another year.
Both enter their 11th season at the club and the duo are just single digits away from making 250 appearances for Ebbw Vale.
They are joined by loosehead pairing Joel Harries and Luke Garrett. Joel enters his fourth season at the club and will be looking for a clean run of games after a spate of injury over the past two seasons.
Former Dragons player Garrett will look to add his experience in what will be his third year following his arrival from Neath.
At tighthead, former Worcester RFC prop Dave Whiting will contest for the starting jersey. Whiting, who played at hooker last year during an injury ravaged season at the club will be pushed by Brynmawr RFC product Ellis Evans, who had a brief spell at the club last year around a thumb injury.
The duo will compete against two-time Man of Steel award winner Sevenoaks.
Hookers packing down
Newly appointed captain Joe Franchi, who is approaching 150 game for Ebbw Vale is certainly going to be a tough contender to remove from the starting shirt, but he’ll be pushed my Mikhail Blake, who impressed in his assertive display against Llandovery at Church Bank last season.
Head Coach Greg Wood and new S&C Coach Gethin Robinson will work alongside the pack this year.
“Main photo credit”