EBBW Vale have chosen lock Ashley Sweet as club captain for next season's Principality Premiership campaign after the departure of Ronny Kynes.

Flanker Kynes will play for Bargoed in the WRU National Championship in 2019/20 after eight seasons and 201 games at Eugene Cross Park.

The 33-year-old stalwart will be followed as skipper by Sweet, who carried out the role when Kynes suffered a season-ending foot injury in November.

The lock is himself an Ebbw favourite after joining the club in 2010 and helping them rise to the Premiership and win the title in 2016.

Sweet's exploits earned a contract with the Dragons but injuries meant he returned to the Steelmen last summer after making just two regional appearances.

Head coach Greg Woods said it was a no-brainer to give the captaincy to the 30-year-old, who works as a rugby officer at Brynmawr Foundation School.

South Wales Argus:

"Ashley led the squad superbly well last year for long periods and is the right choice of leader for the upcoming campaign," said Woods.

"His experience and way he conducts himself is everything that a Premiership captain should be and his rapport with referees is excellent.

"He will be supported by an experienced group of core players who are all hungry for success at the club and I look forward to working with Ashley over the next season."

Sweet came through the Dragons Academy, represented Wales Under-20s and has also played for Cross Keys, Newport and Cardiff, yet it is Ebbw Vale that has long been his rugby home.

"As a player who has been at the club for the best part of 10 years it is a fantastic honour to be asked to captain the Steelmen for the 2019/20 season," said Sweet.

"Although only covering for the legend Ronny Kynes, I have enjoyed leading the club for the biggest part of last season. With the support of the boys I am looking forward to next season and leading this proud team and town."

Meanwhile, the Steelmen have made their first signing for next season after snapping up Cardiff-born forward Dan Hill. The 24-year-old can play at lock or the back row and has played for Clifton, Guernsey, Bath A and Wales Students.

"I feel honoured to be approached by a highly reputable club like Ebbw Vale who have such a big history and fan base," said Hill. "After not playing rugby in Wales for a few years I'm looking forward to the new challenge."

Chairman Jon Jones added: "We're delighted to bring Dan to Eugene Cross Park. Supporters will be pleased to learn that he was recommended to us by the same source that recommended Toby Fricker."