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.

Match Report: Llandovery 29 – 40 Aberavon

by Marina Gange

Aberavon completed their pre-season campaign with an encouraging 40-29 victory over Llandovery in a free-flowing match at Church Bank.

It looked set to be a difficult afternoon for The Wizards as the home side started the match strongly, dominating the early encounters and scoring two tries in the first fifteen minutes.

Aberavon hit back with an interception try from centre Chay Smith, the conversion hitting the post. Outside half Aled Thomas would finish the match with five out of six conversions on a tricky afternoon for goalkickers.

The Drovers responded with a try of their own, breaking through The Wizards midfield defence to score in the corner, but Aberavon were then able to mount several phases of possession, earning a penalty kick to the corner and from the resulting drive, the ever-present Lee Purnell went over from close range.

The phase play continued, earning The Wizards several penalties, and finally, Andrew Waite, seeing the space in front of him, cleverly took a quick tap penalty and went over for the try.

Llandovery responded immediately with a try of their own from a well-gathered up and under but then lost a player to the sin bin right before half-time. The Wizards piled on the pressure again but were held up over the line. The halftime score was Llandovery 24, Aberavon 19.

The second half started in much the same vein. A lovely break from Lloyd Evans saw him cross for a try and there followed a period of back-and-fro play in midfield, brought to an end by a brilliant turnover by Rowan Jenkins.

Looking to give players game time, changes were made which saw Hooker Luke Davies win his 100th cap and also saw the return of the two Thomases, Joe and Nicky.

Another Thomas, Aled, was enjoying his afternoon; a lovely pass found Will Price in space. He passed to Joe Gage who found Chris Banfield with a deft crosskick, Banfield crossing in the corner.

Nicky Thomas was reunited with his old scrum partner Rowan Jenkins to win three back-to-back scrum penalties (the last against the head) and this led to another Lloyd Evans break, this time he put in a grubber kick for winger Matthew Jenkins to latch onto, which he collected skillfully for the score.

Llandovery came back at Aberavon who were a player down, lock Rhodri Hughes having been sent to the sin bin. A long period of Llandovery pressure followed which resulted in a try, the conversion glancing off the post. Llandovery attacked again but Andrew Waite was able to rip the ball and Aberavon cleared into touch to end what was a very entertaining encounter.

We begin our Indigo Group Premiership Cup campaign at home against Llanelli next week. We hope to see you there.

#TheMagicIsBack

Score:
Llandovery 29 – 40 Aberavon

Aberavon Team:
Chris Banfield; Matthew Jenkins (rep Frankie Jones 80+1 min), Chay Smith (rep Joe Thomas 50 min), Will Price (capt) (rep Chay Smith 71 min), Frankie Jones (rep Joe Gage half-time); Aled Thomas (rep Dan Edwards 71 min), Iwan Temblett (rep Rhodri Cole half-time); Jordan Walters (rep Rowan Jenkins 28 min, rep Rhys Fawcett 65 min), Ieuan Davies (rep Luke Davies half-time), Geraint James (rep Nicky Thomas half-time, rep Chris Davies 65 min), Rhodri Hughes, Sam Williams (rep Shay Smallman 59 min), Lee Purnell, Andrew Waite (rep Ashton Evans 63 min, rep Lloyd Evans 80+3 min), Lloyd Evans (rep Andrew Waite 78 min).

Notes:
Luke Davies made his 100th appearance for Aberavon RFC.

Aberavon Scorers:
T – Chay Smith, Lee Purnell, Andrew Waite, Lloyd Evans, Chris Banfield, Matthew Jenkins
C – Aled Thomas (5)

Llandovery Scorers:
T – 5
C – 2

Referee:
Adam Jones

Time Line:
05 min: Llandovery – T (5 – 0)
13 min: Llandovery – T (10 – 0)
19 min: Aberavon – T – Chay Smith (10 – 5)
23 min: Llandovery – T & C (17 – 5)
27 min: Aberavon – T – Lee Purnell & C – Aled Thomas (17 – 12)
35 min: Aberavon – T – Andrew Waite & C – Aled Thomas (17 – 19)
37 min: Llandovery – T & C (24 – 19)
40+3 min: Llandovery – Yellow Card
40+4 min: Half Time
40 min: Aberavon – T – Lloyd Evans & C – Aled Thomas (24 – 26)
47 min: Aberavon – T – Chris Banfield & C – Aled Thomas (24 – 33)
69 min: Aberavon – T – Matthew Jenkins & C – Aled Thomas (24 – 40)
73 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Rhodri Hughes
80 min: Llandovery – T (29 – 40)
80+5 min: Full Time

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 33 – 40 Newport

by Howard Evans

If you like games with 73 points scored in the sunshine, then I do not, but take no credit away from Newport with skipper Matt O’Brien outstanding in his 57 minutes at outside half.

Aberavon again flattered to deceive and the defence was the main problem while the lack of the usual number of scrums meant that Rowan Jenkins and Geraint James had no chance to show their strength.

Aberavon did some good things on the attack, but injury struck before the match with the news that skipper Joe Tomalin-Reeves will need an ankle operation and Ben Thomas lasted only five minutes of the first half.

Again, it was Lloyd Evans who showed some brilliant touches and after nearly three years absent, Matthew Jenkins looked good on his return, while hooker Ieuan Davies played his 200th game for the club.

After 14 minutes Chay Smith did splendidly to start a move that ended with Stef Andrews showing his pace and teenager Dan Edwards converted.

O’Brien cleverly handled twice before sending scrum-half Rhys Downes over and O’Brien converted, though Chris Banfield scored after a length-of-the-pitch move with Smith.

Newport hit back and tries by Harry Griffiths and Will Griffiths, plus an O’Brien conversion took them to half–time leading by 19-12.

A Lloyd Evans pass sent Aled Thomas over and Will Price gave Jonny Phillips the pass for a further try with Aled goaling both to lead 26-19, then forward Josh Reid scored and teenage fly-half Will Reed goaled to level it.

Again the ‘Wizards’ led as Lloyd Evans ran well and Iwan Temblett scored with Aled Thomas converting at 33-26.

However, Newport had not finished and hooker Henry Palmer’s try and another Will Reed conversion took it to 33-all with nine minutes remaining.

It was Newport who won it with their sixth try from Harry Griffiths with Reed again adding the extras.

It was good if you like Basketball, but not if you remember rugby as it used to be!

Score:
Aberavon 33 – 40 Newport

Aberavon Team:
Chris Banfield (rep Jonathan Phillips half-time); Frankie Jones (rep Matthew Jenkins half-time), Chay Smith (rep Joe Gage half-time), Will Price (capt), Stef Andrews; Dan Edwards (rep Aled Thomas half-time), Rhodri Cole (rep Iwan Temblett half-time); Rhys Fawcett (rep Jordan Walters 31 min, rep Rowan Jenkins 50 min)), Llew Phillips-Taylor (rep Ieuan Davies half-time), Chris Davies (rep Geraint James half-time), Ben Thomas (rep Shay Smallman 06 min), Rhodri Hughes (rep Sam Williams half-time), Billy Moxey (rep Lloyd Evans half-time), Ashton Evans (rep Andrew Waite half-time), Lee Purnell (rep Ashton Evans 67 min).

Notes:
Ieuan Davies made his 200th appearance for Aberavon RFC.
Club debut for Billy Moxey.

Aberavon Scorers:
T – Stef Andrews, Chris Banfield, Aled Thomas, Jonathan Phillips, Iwan Temblett
C – Aled Thomas (3), Dan Edwards

Newport Scorers:
T – Harry Griffiths (2), Rhys Downes, Will Griffiths, Josh Reid, Henry Palmer
C – Will Reed (3), Matt O’Brien (2)

Referee:
Ian Davies (Porthcawl)

Time Line:
14 min: Aberavon – T – Stef Andrews & C – Dan Edwards (7 – 0)
15 min: Newport – T – Rhys Downes & C – Matt O’Brien (7 – 7)
22 min: Aberavon – T – Chris Banfield (12 – 7)
33 min: Aberavon – Yellow Card – Lee Purnell
35 min: Newport – T – Harry Griffiths (12 – 12)
38 min: Newport – T – Will Griffiths & C – Matt O’Brien (12 – 19)
40+5 min: Half Time
44 min: Aberavon – T – Aled Thomas & C – Aled Thomas (19 – 19)
51 min: Aberavon – T – Jonathan Phillips & C – Aled Thomas (26 – 19)
54 min: Newport – T – Josh Reid & C – Will Reed (26 – 26)
66 min: Aberavon – T – Iwan Temblett & C – Aled Thomas (33 – 26)
70 min: Newport – T – Henry Palmer & C – Will Reed (33 – 33)
73 min: Newport – T – Harry Griffiths & C – Will Reed (33 – 40)
80+2 min: Full Time

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.

2021/22 Coaches Announced

Aberavon Rugby Football Club are delighted to announce the 21/22 coaches led by Head Coach Jason Hyatt.

The only new addition is Josh Davies who takes the role as Strength and Conditioning Coach replacing Howard Thomas. Otherwise, the coaches remain the same in:

Jason Hyatt – Head Coach

Marc Breeze – Forwards Coach

Chris Davies – Defence and Contact Area Coach

Jamie Davies – Skills Coach

Lyndon Lewis – Backs Coach

Josh Davies – Strength and Conditioning Coach

The club are fully in their preparations for the forthcoming season with preseason friendlies against Ebbw Vale (28 Aug), Newport (4 Sept) and Llandovery (11 Sept).

For the full fixture list please click here.