Howard Evans (Swansea Programme Notes)

We welcome the ‘All-Whites’ for the second time this season, having also met them at St Helen’s recently.

It is 2-0 to Aberavon so far, but I have been most impressed by the fitness, style of play and sheer enthusiasm of what is a very young Swansea side.

In the match at Swansea they shocked the ‘Wizards’ enough to be leading with about eight minutes of play remaining before two tries by Matthew Jenkins saw Aberavon deprive them of at least a bonus point.

My earliest recollections of seeing Swansea play go back to the late 1940s in matches at Cardiff Arms Park.

I remember Alun Thomas and Roy Sutton at half-back and Len Davies as a good centre, who was at Swansea University with our former player, Cliff David.

As far as meeting their players, I especially remember Clem Thomas, who became a journalist and was a tremendous character in the press-box and indeed everywhere that he went.

Clem was the only journalist at Cardiff who said “Ullo Ullo, something funny there” when New Zealand’sAndy Haden dived from a line-out in the gloom on the other side of the field.

Another Swansea player was Kevin Hopkins, who became a damn good coach at Aberavon and still watches us this season, having reached the age of 60 (he says 59!).

Kevin, if asked who he is cheering for, would probably say the referee. But, he was part of some wonderful Swansea backs that included Malcolm Dacey, Tony Clement, Rob Jones and Simon Davies.

Of the forwards, I got to know Richard Webster and Keith Colclough and Keith was rated by the late John Billot as his particular favourite.

It was almost impossible to see Swansea without internationals, but times have changed and there are no caps in Premiership sides. Just good, honest players as we will see tonight.