Howard Evans (Merthyr Programme Notes)

We are back in home action this Sunday afternoon when we welcome Merthyr to the Talbot Athletic Ground.

This quarter-final is one of two outstanding, while Llandovery have to play Pontypridd but, seemingly, if we win today, it will put our trip to RGC next month in doubt.

Battles between the ‘Wizards’ and Merthyr have been extremely interesting in recent seasons and, of course, we have seen wings Richard Carter, Stef Andrews and Jay Baker in action for both clubs. Richard is now in retirement; Jay is injured, but Stef should be raring to go – he usually is.

There is a fourth man who has played for both clubs as Merthyr’s splendid coach Dale McIntosh once turned out for us against Glamorgan Wanderers. Dale, is one of a rare breed of coaches, who are ready to speak to the media, whether his side has won or lost. And Dale also is never slow to praise his opponents.

For Aberavon, there is a need to get the strongest 15 out on the park, being something that for several reasons has rarely happened this season. Outside half has been a hard position to fill, but Joe Thomas has done his level best.

What with the pandemic, injuries, isolation and Ospreys selection or their training ideas, Aberavon have suffered and must also congratulate our props Rowan Jenkins and Geraint James for both turning out for Cardiff Rugby for two European matches.

So, it has been hard for Jason, Lyndon and the remainder of the coaching team to get their strongest sides out and skipper Joe Tomalin-Reeves has just had a few seconds on the pitch this season!

I do not like Sunday sport, but I think we all just want to get out of our ‘bubbles’ and watch two strong sides battling it out.

Welcome to the strange world of Welsh club rugby.