Rest in Peace Max

Everyone at Aberavon RFC and in rugby will  be sad to hear that Max Wiltshire has passed away after a brave struggle with cancer aged 83.

Max was born in Sydney in 1938 and was capped by Wales on four occasions as well as touring Argentina in 1968. He made his Welsh debut v New Zealand in 1967 and then played against England, Scotland and France the following year, he also played for the Barbarians against New Zealand in 1967.

Prior to joining Aberavon in 1962 he played for BP Llandarcy, Vardre and Skewen, it’s fair to say that in both Skewen and Aberavon he is a legend. Uniquely he also coached each of the above clubs mentioned. He also played for Bridgend for two seasons from 1969/1971.

He was part of the fabric of The Wizards, hugely popular and rarely missed home games and Friday nights in the bar at Aberavon well into his 80’s.

Max was a great character and will be sorely missed at both his two favourite clubs, Skewen and Aberavon.Of course in Aberavon he will always be remembered as being part of the clubs famous second row partnership with his great friend Billy Mainwaring.

We extend our deepest condolences to his daughter Clare, all his family and his many friends.

Baker to Miss Season

Wizards Wing Jay Baker sustained an injury during a preseason training session with Aberavon.

With ongoing consultations and investigations it has been concluded that Baker has ruptured is Anterior Cruciate Ligament and also has a head on his meniscus. Therefore, Jay will now undergo treatment for this injury and will miss what looks like the whole season.

Everyone at the club wishes Jay a speedy recovery and we hope to see him on the field towards the back end of this current season.

Season 21/22 Fixtures Update

Now that the full season fixtures have been released we wanted to provide a recap in what is taking place in the 2021/22 season.

On September 18, Aberavon play Llanelli at the Talbot Athletic Ground in the first fixture of the newly formed Indigo Group Premiership Cup. This format sees the Premiership splitting into two, an east and west league. Aberavon being placed in the west league with Llanelli, Llandovery, Carmarthen Quins, Swansea and Bridgend.

All teams will play in a home and away fixture. This means there will be at least five home games during this period. Season tickets are valid for these games.

The top two teams of the east and west league will form the semi-final (TBC) of the Indigo Group Premiership Cup. The semi-final is likely to be held in 2022.

Following the Indigo Group Premiership Cup the Indigo Group Premiership will begin. The first fixture for Aberavon is against Swansea on December 11 at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

Every team will play each other once not a return home and away style format. Season ticket holders will now get an extra six home games incorporated into the fixed discounted rate this season.

The winner of the Indigo Group Premiership will be outright winners – there will be no playoffs.

Fixtures can be viewed here.

To recap:

Season ticket holders will have at least 11 home games to watch in the 2021/22 season for just £60 standard and £100 for vice-presidents. That is just under £5.50 per game.

You can purchase your season tickers here.

Indigo Group Premiership Fixtures

The Welsh Rugby Union have announced the Indigo Group Premiership fixtures will begin on Saturday 11 December following the Indigo Group Premiership Cup.

Aberavon Rugby Football Club will face Swansea at the Talbot Athletic Ground in the first round followed by another home game against Newport.

Full fixtures below.

Joe Thomas Signs for the Wizards

Ahead of the last preseason friendly against Llandovery on the weekend ‘the Wizards’ secured the signing of Joe Thomas from Houston.

Joe has previously played for the club as an Osprey player but now he is part of the magic as a full squad player and Head Coach Jason Hyatt is extremely pleased.

“Joe is an outstanding character, on and off the pitch. He brings energy, talent and plenty of experience.

The experience Joe has gained playing rugby within outstanding environments and learning from players such as Ashley Beck, Kyle Eastmond & Telusa Veainu, will now be shared with his team mates”.

Joe joins a competitive area within the squad with the likes of Will Price, Rheon James and Chay Smith, but is looking forward to being part of the team again.

“I’m most looking forward to just getting back out there on the field with all the boys, they have all been amazing since I’ve been back with welcoming me and getting me up to speed with everything again. Just playing rugby the Aberavon way,” said Joe.

With Joe being a player sought after, we asked him ‘why the Wizards’?

“I think if I you ask any player past or present, Aberavon has such a friendly enjoyable atmosphere on and off the field. It was a no brainer for me after having a few seasons here previously losing in a final of the premiership, I have unfinished business,” answered Thomas.

When speaking of his experience in different environments, Joe added.

“Hopefully as a player I can bring in some experience and some new ideas to present the players and coaches from my travels around the globe playing.”

Joe played his first game off the bench for the Wizards against Llandovery on Saturday 11 September and his last game before that was against Merthyr in 2017.

Good Luck JTR

Wizards Skipper Joe Tomalin-Reeves will undergo ankle reconstruction surgery today.

After injuring his ankle in an early preseason training session JTR has been nursing the injury for some weeks – after further investigation the ankle has more problems than first thought.

We wish Joe good luck in his surgery and his recovery. We will hopefully see Joe late November/ early December.

Match Report: Aberavon 26 – 29 Ebbw Vale

by Howard Evans

Aberavon lost their first match of the new season despite leading twice in the first half. It was a friendly match however and Ebbw Vale were already up to full match practice after several earlier games this month.

The ‘Wizards’ will look back at missed chances in the first 20 minutes especially, yet they had led by ‘the try of the season’ from Stef Andrews after just two minutes play. Will Price did superbly to get the ball away near halfway and the very-fit wing turnedinside in a great arc to leave the defence standing with Aled Thomas converting.

Chances went by and after 21 minutes Ebbw went on the attack after centre Lewis Bates was obstructed. The forwards handled well and lock Brice Randell scored for Lewis K.Williams to convert.

Aberavon, with Lloyd Evans, a former Ebbw player, quite outstanding, looked to have plenty in hand and suddenly centre Chay Smith intercepted on halfway and was gone with Aled Thomas again converting.

However, wing Euan Rosser took an interception in the final minute of the half and Williams again converted at 14-14.

Many changes were made to either side, though scrum half Rhodri Cole had to stay on throughout and played well.

After 45 minutes a numberless replacement centre scored a fine try for Ebbw and Rhys Jones added the extras to put the visitors ahead.

Aberavon hit back to make it 21-all when the alert Andrews took an interception and ran some 70 metres for a try that was well converted by debutant and replacement fly half Dan Edwards.

Nevertheless, it was the Ebbw Vale pack who now took over and a try by a replacement wing put them ahead by 26-21.

Rhys Jones missed a penalty, but soon landed another effort and Aberavon gained a late corner try which was credited to replacement hooker Llew Phillips-Taylor.

For Aberavon, Aled Thomas looked as fit as a fiddle and Price was solid as the captain for the day. Lloyd Evans was outstanding.

This was the first game and no matter how much players train it will never be the same as playing a real match. Jonny Phillips looked good at full back and Andrews splendid, while Ashton Evans was playing his first game since breaking his jaw.

News was not good of some of the squad regarding injury and illness and there might have to be another wing signing made.

Aberavon Scorers:

Tries.

Andrews (2), Smith, Phillips-Taylor.

Cons.

Thomas (2), Edwards.

21/22 Squad Announcement

Aberavon Rugby Football Club have finalised their squad ahead of the 2021/22 season. As follows.

Props

Rowan Jenkins, Rhys Fawcett, Jordan Walters, Geraint James, Chris Davies, Nicky Thomas.

Hookers

Cameron Lewis, Ieuan Davies, Llew Phillips-Taylor, Luke Davies.

Second Rows

Sam Williams, Rhodri Hughes, Shay Smallman, Ben Thomas.

Backrows

Joe Tomalin-Reeves (c), Lee Purnell, Lloyd Evans, Billy Moxey, Ashton Evans, Andrew Waite.

Halfbacks

Aled Thomas, Joe Gage, Dan Edwards, Rhodri Cole, David Pritchard, Iwan Temblett.

Centres

Will Price, Chay Smith, Rheon James, Logan Phillips.

Wings

Stefan Andrews, Aled Rees, Matthew Jenkins, Frankie Jones, Jay Baker.

Fullbacks

Chris Banfield, Cori Lewis-Jenkins, Jonathan Phillips.


Aberavon take on Ebbw Vale in their first preseason friendly at the Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday 28 August, 1430KO. Entry is £3 donation to Aberavon RFC/ Maggie’s Swansea


Season Tickets are available for purchase and collection at the Ebbw Vale and Newport preseason friendlies.

Wizards Bolster Squad

Aberavon Rugby Football Club have been busy working on their squad for the forthcoming 2021/22 season.

Ahead of the squad announcement on Friday 27th August – Head Coach Jason Hyatt spoke of the recent new additions to the squad, starting with increasing the depth of talent in the front row department.

“Jordan Walters joins us from the Ospreys. He is a strong scrummager and a real threat with ball in hand.

Rhys Fawcett joins us from the Scarlets. I watched Rhys develop at the Scarlets into a powerful player both at set piece and in open play.

Lastly, Nicky Thomas joins us from the Ospreys. Nicky is renowned for his powerful scrummaging and at 26 years of age has gained a huge amount of experience within various environments”.

During COVID-19, Cameron Lewis, son of Lyndon Lewis also signed for the club from Cardiff Blues.

“Cam has worked exceptionally hard on all aspects of his game and is a really talented Hooker,” added Jason.

Jay Baker returns after spells with Merthyr and overseas.

“Jay Baker joins from Manly Marlins. Jay is a player who can consistently break down the most organised defences, and will add extra options to our all round game,” commented Hyatt.

Aberavon have also signed some rising talent on development contracts, flanker Billy Moxey and centre Logan Phillips.

Head Coach Jason Hyatt added.

“Billy Moxey joins us from Pontardawe. He has gained experience at age grade level with the Ospreys, where he earned a reputation as a physical ball carrier and aggressive defensive player. Billy also came with a glowing endorsement from our defence coach Chris Davies.

Likewise, Logan, like Billy, has gained experience playing age grade rugby with the Ospreys. He is an exciting talent both in attack and defence. Chris Davies rates Logan very highly indeed.”


Aberavon take on Ebbw Vale in their first preseason friendly at the Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday 28 August, 1430KO. Entry is £3 donation to Aberavon RFC/ Maggie’s Swansea.

JTR 2021/22 Club Captain

Joe Tomalin-Reeves will continue as club captain for the 2021/22 season.

A fiery flanker that leads from the front in his all action performances in ‘Blood and Black’ will be captain for his second season. Joe will will be amongst names such as Ian Moore, Morton Howells and Billy James as captain of this iconic club.

Looking forward ahead of the season Joe was asked if there is some work to do on bringing the players back together as a team.

“As crazy as it sounds, it feels like we have not been away from the environment. It has just been different. We had a fair few zoom meetings, we really stayed in touch with everyone and as a squad we thought that was very important. So when we came back, that would hold us in good stead and it truly has. Boys are excited,” Joe said.

18-months with no game, no training and wondering what will happen next must have had a significant impact on the players and the squad.

“We have to spin this whole situation around. Players who may have been carrying injuries have had time to recover, regenerate and prepare to go again,” added Joe.

Looking ahead to the season and its new format we asked Joe what are the expectations of the squad.

“The expectation every year is to win silverware, that is the same every year, it is no different. Our environment is extremely professional and there are players that drive standards hard, so there is really no reason why we cannot win the league, and more”.

“I cannot wait to see the supporters, before the game, after the game, and I speak for all of the squad on that.

It is hoped the Talbot Athletic Ground will be brimming full of supporters in their first league game against Llanelli. The support now is more important than ever.

“I cannot wait to see the supporters, before the game, after the game, and I speak for all of the squad on that. We are raring to go, through thick and thin, I cannot wait”

We have sadly lost a lot of supporters during COVID, with COVID and amongst other illnesses and we owe them really. We need to treasure every moment as a supporter and as a player,” commented the Captain.


Aberavon take on Ebbw Vale in their first preseason friendly at the Talbot Athletic Ground on Saturday 28 August, 1430KO. Entry is £3 donation to Aberavon RFC/ Maggie’s Swansea.