EBBW Vale hope that former Dragons and Scarlets scrum-half Jonathan Evans can help their young talent flourish.

The 29-year-old has signed for the Steelmen from Bargoed and made his debut in last week’s Premiership Cup defeat to Cardiff in the capital.

Evans made 83 appearances for the Dragons then moved to Bath in 2015 before spending four seasons with the Scarlets where he was a PRO12 winner in 2017.

Ebbw, who host RGC tonight, have suffered injury misfortune since returning to action but have been given a lift by their new scrum-half.

“We are a bit battered at the moment with injuries and have a very young squad, so bringing in someone with Jon’s experience and game management is fantastic,” said head coach Greg Woods.

“I am really happy to have Matthew Flanagan and him at scrum-half, along with Che Hope who had a bang in the Dragons A game.

“To bring Jon in is a coup for the club, especially after losing three leaders to injury in Joe Franchi, Dom Franchi and Rhys Jones.


LIVEWIRE: Former Scarlets and Dragons scrum-half Jonathan Evans

LIVEWIRE: Former Scarlets and Dragons scrum-half Jonathan Evans


“We need experience to go with youth and Jon will be a huge asset for us going forward. He has plenty of rugby still ahead of him and is hungry to do well for us.”

Ebbw made a fine start to the competition but last weekend’s 32-7 loss to Cardiff, when they led 7-3 at half-time but paid the price for indiscipline, was their sixth on the spin.

The Steelmen welcome RGC - and their former coach Ceri Jones - to Eugene Cross Park this evening (kick-off 7.30pm).

Woods’ men are keen to finish the tournament strongly so that they can hit the ground running when the league gets under way on December 11.

“As soon as we started getting injuries we said that we had to give the young boys as much game time as possible,” said the head coach, who has seen former Dragons speedster Daf Howells join the injured contingent with a minor bang.

“We will try and get as many bodies back as we can for December but won’t have some key players available so these games have been useful.

“For 60 minutes in Cardiff we were right in the game, we were 11-7 down when we scored with a double movement but then they brought Dan Fish on and rattled in three tries.

“We were ultra-competitive and will need another big performance against RGC because Ceri has really got them functioning.”

Newport can secure a home quarter-final in the Premiership Cup if they avoid defeat at Merthyr on Saturday afternoon.

The Black and Ambers are still setting the pace in the eastern group despite a shock loss to RGC at Spytty Park last Saturday.

Newport led 21-17 at the break and then got their four-try bonus only to be hit by a stirring comeback by the north Walians. RGC took the spoils 34-28 and Ty Morris’ side had to be content with a pair of bonuses.

They are two points ahead of second-placed Cardiff and eight ahead of Merthyr with the top two enjoying home advantage against western rivals in the quarters.

Newport are already secure in the last eight but want to ensure they welcome a side to Spytty with Saturday’s trip to the Wern (kick-off 1pm) followed by a home derby against Ebbw Vale on November 27.

Pontypridd host Cardiff in the other east group game while there are no fixtures in the Championship.