Retained Players

Head Coach Jason Hyatt is pleased to announce the following players have resigned for the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.

“We are delighted with the talent within our squad.

There is a great mix of experience and youth, which will ensure competition is fierce”, commented Jason.

Retained Players.

Props

Rowan Jenkins

Rhys Fawcett

Jordan Walters

Geraint James

Chris Davies

Hooker

Ieuan Davies

Luke Davies

Cam Lewis

Second Row

Sam Williams

Rhodri Hughes

Shay Smallman

Sam Pailor

Back Row

Joe Tomalin-Reeves

Lloyd Evans

Lee Purnell

Ashton Evans

Andrew Waite

Scrum Half

Rhodri Cole

Iwan Temblett

Outside Half

Aled Thomas

Centre

Joe Gage

Joe Thomas

Wing

Stef Andrews

Jay Baker

Frankie Jones

Aled Rees

Fullback

Jon Phillips

Chris Banfield


There are a few new exciting additions to the squad which will be announced shortly whilst our Osprey allocated players will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Confirmed Departing Squad Members

The following players will leave Aberavon.

Chay Smith

Ben Thomas

Rheon James

Nicky Thomas

Matthew Jenkins

Will Price

Coaches

Howard Thomas

Lyndon Lewis


We would like to thank those leaving for their services to Aberavon Rugby Club.

Matthew Jenkins Leaves

Matthew has fought for several seasons against injuries, particularly to his right leg. He was a No 8 forward before the Ospreys Academy turned him into a centre.

He left Aberavon in the summer of 2017 to join the Scarlets, but played for Llanelli RFC and scored 14 tries, then returned two years later.

He was then out of action for two years and nine months with injury, but he returned in September 2021 against Newport in a friendly and the following week he scored a try at Llandovery.

Head Coach Jason Hyatt commented.

“Mathew has worked very hard to get back to full fitness after a difficult rehabilitation period. During the season we have seen glimpses of the potential Mathew has.

I’m positive that with a full pre-season preparation, Mathew will have a much more consistent season ahead.

Thank you Math & good luck.”

Matthew Jenkins said.

“I would like to thank everyone at the club for their support over such a long period at the club.

It will be sad to leave and I will miss the supporters as they really are second to none. I look forward to returning to the TAG, albeit on the opposition side.

I wish everyone at the club the best and hope the club can push on and get the silverware that so many people at the club deserve.”

Rheon James Retires

Rheon has made the decision to retire from rugby this season.

The powerful centre has decided to call it a day on his rugby career. It has been an injury ridden season for Rheon James, only making one appearance this season, 82 in total.

It is hopeful that with a break from the game Rheon will return to rugby and will put on the Blood and Black shirt once again.

Jason Hyatt said.

“Rheon first put on a Wizards jersey while on loan from the Cornish Pirates. Soon after that he decided to join and it’s been a real pleasure working with him.

When healthy, Rheon is a warrior & is certainly one of the most powerful players in the game.

Unfortunately Rheon has had to deal with many injuries and has managed himself in an exemplary manner throughout.

I wish Rheon the very best of luck”.

Rheon James added.

“I would like to thank everyone for their welcome, support, and patience at times during my time at Aberavon. It has been a privilege to work alongside such a talented group of players, coaches and backroom staff.

The club is blessed to have fantastic support from the community, volunteers and other staff which is led by the phenomenal work and efforts from Andrew and Mair.

Thank you Aberavon for all the joyful times and friendships gained. I wish all involved with the club the very best of luck and success for the future”.

Ben Thomas Departs

Wizards second row/ back row player Ben Thomas has left the club.

Ben Thomas commented.

“I would like to thank the players, supporters, coaches and management of Aberavon RFC for their unwavering support during my time at the club.

It’s been an honour and a privilege to wear the jersey and I hope to have left it in a better place.

A special thank you to Mair and Andrew who continue to make Aberavon an amazing rugby club to be a part of.
I have no doubt they’ll continue to take this club from strength to strength for years to come”.

Head Coach Jason Hyatt added.

“I would like to thank Ben & wish him the very best of luck.

Whichever route Ben decides to take in the next chapter of his rugby journey, I’m positive he will be very successful.

Ben has excellent rugby knowledge and has has had a powerful and positive influence within the Wizards squad, I have certainly learned a tremendous amount from him”.

Statement from Lyndon Lewis

It’s been a pleasure to play for the club, captain the club and now finish up by coaching the club.

I would like to thank everyone associated with the club for the welcome I’ve had as a player and a coach. I think I’m leaving the club in a healthy position but the time has come to move on.

I’d specifically like to say a special thank you to Andrew John for the support he gives to the players and coaches. It is second to none.

I’d like to thank all the players, medical staff, coaches, back room staff and our wonderful ladies (who have to be the best in the Premiership) for their friendliness, hard work and dedication during my time at the club.

I’ve been coaching senior rugby for 25 years, and 18 years of that has been in the Premiership. Rugby has been a big part of my life over the last 36 years between playing and coaching. The greatest thing about this is the wonderful friends I have made during the journey – I believe there’s no greater sport for making lifelong friends. However, I’ve reached a point in my career where the golf course has become more appealing than the rugby pitch!!! It’s time to hang my boots up.

I wish Jason, the rest of the coaches and the players the very best for next season and hope they go one better than this year and win some silverware.

Lastly I’d like to thank Jason for his support and drive as a head coach throughout my time at the club.

Lyndon Lewis Retires

Aberavon attack coach Lyndon Lewis steps down.

Lyndon Lewis has decided to step down from coaching and retire, and therefore will leave the club.

From 1986 he spent eight seasons and 132 games as a full-back at Aberavon, captaining the club in 1991-92 and later played for Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale. Lewis moved into coaching with Vardre and then spent 11 years with Llandovery.

Lyndon joined Aberavon in the summer of 2015 and has assisted Aberavon in reaching a Premiership Cup Final and a Premiership League Final.


Head Coach Jason Hyatt commented. 

“I’ve worked with Lyndon for several years at Aberavon and he should should be extremely proud of the positive influence he has had within the Aberavon environment.

As well as helping Aberavon to evolve as a team, Lyndon has worked hard with individuals and I’m sure the players are very grateful for his hard work and commitment.

Enjoy retirement Lyndon I sure your golf will flourish, hopefully your drinking will too”.


Chairman Andrew John added.

“On behalf of everyone at Aberavon RFC I would like to add my sincere thanks to Lyndon for his input and hard work over the past seven years with us.

He’s been a pleasure to work with throughout the whole period and we all wish him well in the future.

He’s planning a break from rugby so the golf course awaits him for now but I’m sure once the batteries are re-charged he will be back in the game in some role.

Whatever that may be we wish him and his family the very best, thanks Lyndon”.

Nicky Thomas Retires

Tight-head prop Thomas has decided to retire from rugby at the age of 27.

Nicky’s club debut was against Galashiels in 2013 and has appeared for Aberavon 29 times scoring 2 tries.

Thomas has represented some big clubs in Bristol Bears, Gloucester, Scarlets, Ospreys, Dragons and Wasps – and at the age of 27 Nicky has so much more to give – however, Nicky feels that it is time to retire from the game.

Nicky commented.

“I would like to thank the club, supporters, lads and coaches. It has been a blast.

I am now looking forward to spending time with my growing family”.

Head Coach Jason Hyatt added.

“Nicky is still a young man and has so much potential. I would love to see Nicky regain his enthusiasm for the game after some time out and return to rugby in the future.

We all wish him well.”

Chay Smith Departs

Aberavon centre Chay Smith has decided to leave the club.

Chay has appeared 39 times for Aberavon with his debut against Swansea in 2019, scoring 21 tries.

His defensive magic and attacking prowess will be missed.

Head Coach Jason Hyatt commented.

“Since joining the Wizards Chay has worked extremely hard to improve every aspect of his game and the results have been very impressive”.

Pre Covid Chay found his feet at the club with ease pulling in some fin performances with his finals game pre Covid against Cardiff his best.

Chay Smith added.

“I would like to thank everyone at the club for a brilliant 3 years, albeit in the middle of a pandemic! I wish all the volunteers, players and staff the best of luck for next season and beyond”.

Post pandemic Chay was a force to be reckoned with, starting almost every game at 13

“We are sad to see Chay leave but fully understand his reasons and wish him the best of luck in his hunt for a new home in Monmouth,” Jason Hyatt added.

Chay is a true gent and finished his days at Aberavon with these final words.

“I would like to add what a fantastic club Aberavon RFC is.

From my first day, I have felt extremely welcomed by everyone. Clubs like this don’t run without all the help from those behind the scenes.

A massive mention to Andrew and Mair who put hell of a lot of work in to enable a club like this to thrive”.

Hopefully we will see Chay in Blood and Black again.

From us all at the Wizards we wish Chay the very best of luck and look forward to watching him continue to play some great rugby”, commented Hyatt.

Will Price Retires

Will played his first game for Aberavon on the 29th April 2009 against Llanelli at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

He has played 232 times for Aberavon and has scored 35 tries.

We would like to thank Will and has family for all of the efforts and loyalty over 12 seasons.

On Will’s last home game against Llandovery his Wife and children presented him with his shirt – a special moment.


Statement from Will Price.

It has been a privilege to play for Aberavon and I’m very proud to have represented the club for over 12 years and also captain the side too. 

Aberavon is a great club filled with amazing people and I just want to say thank you to each and everyone who have allowed me to be a part of it.

As a club we’ve had many highs and lows but all are great memories which I will always be thankful for, as well as all the friendships I’ve made on the way.

It is a hard decision to make and one I did not rush into making, but now I can look forward to spending more time with my Wife and two girls. 

Thank you once again to all. I will most definitely be down supporting the club and the boys next season. 

Will