First Team Assistant Manager Wayne Jones was present to witness some fantastic performances by the Aber Stars players in Llanelli. With players unavailable for the trip

to Llanelli, most would have then thought it was going to be a very difficult day for the Aber Stars team. But this hard-working group of players were ready to show what they could do. The ‘Championship’ players were once again Meilyr Llwyd, Peter Williams and Dave Baker. Meilyr, who also had a brief spell as

a goalkeeper on the day, really impressed those watching. Both David and Peter were playing further forward and both were on the scoresheet. All three of the players should feel very proud of their performances. John Daniel and Mark Kemp joined

the Cleddau Warriors team in the Premier League at late notice and despite being with a different group of players, they fitted in well and played very well. Three out of the five players that

Ben Ryan: Joining Welsh Rugby in a consultancy role THE WELSH RUGBY UNION has

made two new high level appointments to boost its performance department and coach development provision. Ben Ryan, the sevens specialist

coach who helped Fiji lift their first Olympic gold medal in the 2016 tournament in Rio, who is currently working with the National Basketball Association in Amercia, joins Welsh Rugby in a consultancy role. Peter Drewett has been appointed

as the new WRU performance coach manager and will join Welsh Rugby from a similar position with the Hong Kong Rugby Union on March 1. Former England sevens player

Ryan guided Fiji to a record nine sevens tournament titles, including Olympic gold, after leaving his position as England sevens coach to take charge of the South Sea Islanders in 2013. The 45-year-old has a wide-

ranging remit to support, advising the programs and preparation planning of WRU national Age Grade sides and his expertise will be made available to all teams outside of the national squad - which includes the national U20s, national U18s, Women's national programmes and both men's and women's sevens. Drewett, 58, takes over the

position vacated by Geraint John - who was himself appointed to the WRU Executive Board as a 'Head of Rugby Performance' last year - and will support the current coach education department with specific responsibilities to improve and support coaching in Wales at the performance level. He is a former Sports Science

lecturer at Exeter University who has worked on 230 international matches across 10 World Championship campaigns with England and Hong Kong to date. He was at the Rugby Football Union between 1992-2006 working in player development and managing the U21s, U19s, schools and youth sides at different stages, before becoming Exeter Chiefs' Director of

Rugby and Head Coach until 2009. During his time with the Chiefs,

he oversaw a period of transition in which they became a professional club and reached the EDF Cup final twice, before working in a range of high profile consultancy roles, coaching Plymouth Albion in 2012 and then being appointed as Head of Elite Coach Development for HKRU in 2014. He will mainly manage and

support the delivery of the WRU coaching courses at level three and four and ensure coaches are right up to speed with new developments with a continuous programme of refresher courses to run alongside official qualifications - specifically covering Premiership, Regional Age Grade and national sevens, national women and national Age Grade coaching. “Ben Ryan's appointment is a

real coup for Welsh Rugby,” said John. “He is a much sought after high performance coach, who has been courted around the globe since his significant successes with the Fijian national sevens side. “We are particularly interested

in benefiting from the meticulous attention to detail and major planning experience which Ben showed to maximum effect during the Olympics in Rio and we want him to cover the whole of our performance division from U20s, U18s to the women's game and, of course, his specific experience in sevens is a huge bonus. “Ben will also be on hand to

enhance our Coach Development programme, where he will support our coaches through his knowledge and experience of the world game. This will be done through a series of club visits and coach development sessions. “Peter comes on board as a full

time member of staff in March and his role is very much about safeguarding the future of the game in Wales and making sure we have the very best systems in place to not only produce the best coaches, but to ensure the continued progression of those

coaches. “Our aim is to have the best

coaching provision in the global game in Wales; we want to attract the best talent but also produce home grown coaches that are the envy of the rugby watching world and Peter, with the necessary help and support, is just the man for the job.” WRU CEO Martyn Phillips said:

“We have a clear strategy in Welsh Rugby, with coaching and coach development a central priority at all levels of the game. “These two announcements today

are a further example of our continued commitment to ensuring Welsh Rugby creates the finest breeding ground for coaching in the world game. “We want attract the very best

rugby minds to Wales as well as cultivate home-grown coaches who are the envy of the rugby-watching world and we have taken significant steps towards achieving those aims with the two appointments announced today.

“Ben brings a wealth of experience

and expertise to strengthen our performance department and his appointment will be of benefit to both players and coaches throughout Welsh rugby. “In Peter we are appointing a

coach development manager who comes highly recommended and who has significant relevant experience of the role on a worldwide scale.” Ben Ryan said: “I'm delighted

to be joining the WRU in what is an incredibly exciting role and I am really looking forward to all that lies ahead.” Peter Drewett added: “Helping

Welsh Rugby fine tune and further improve its production line of Welsh coaches is an exciting challenge. “There is a wide array of existing

coaching talent to be nurtured and we will also be reviewing the systems and structures in place, designed to safeguard and expand the future of coaching in Wales.”

were in the Champions League team had never played in this league before with some moving up from the Premier League team. Many probably wouldn’t have been surprised to see Aber lose their opening match to a Swansea team that went on to win all their matches, although nobody could say it was an easy win for Swansea. Aber opened the lead through player/

manager Steven Brookes and defended quite well at the start of the match but couldn’t hold to their lead and ended up conceding three. Aber came close on a few occasions to scoring a second and eventually Paul-Luke Loveridge did pull one back late on but it


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Ryan and Drewett join WRU Stars shine in Llanelli

wasn’t enough as Swansea won 3-2. If the Swansea result was no surprise,

the next performance from Aber certainly was. They were up against a tough Bridgend team that beat Aber in their last tournament. But once Aber opened the scoring through captain Derfel Reynolds, they began to show how good the team can play. Some excellent one touch and two

touch passing, quick movement and clinical finishing meant Bridgend just couldn’t do anything to stop Aber, who eventually scored a fantastic yet well-deserved six goals whilst the Stars keeper, Iestyn Jones, barely had a save to make. Reynolds scored five, with Brookes also on the scoresheet again. After an amazing 6-0 victory, the team

was full of confidence going into their final match and yet again the team put on a great display. The quick play continued and although

the team's finishing was a bit off in the opening moments of the match, they did eventually take a well-deserved lead and with the way the team were playing, it was no surprise a second and third goal was scored. Derfel and Steven (two) were the goal scorers. Despite coming close to increasing their lead, the match ended 3-0 to Aber. If Aber play as well as they did in their

second and third match in future games, it’ll be very difficult for other teams to beat them. Player/manager Steven Brookes said: "We were disappointed to lose our opening match but the performances in the other two games were brilliant. Possibly the best the team has played in many years."

Dominant win for Aber

Aberystwyth Gorseinon

22 0

ABERYSTWYTH put in a dominant

display as they beat Gorseinon 22-0 on Saturday (Jan 21). It was a sunny winter’s day with a

cold wind which grew in strength as the game went on. Aberystwyth kicked off into the wind but the game did not settle down straight away, with both sides testing each other out. The game burst into life after 10 minutes when Rod Richards made a 40 metre break from his own 22 and Gorseinon were pegged back in their own half by some powerful work from the pack. Both sides were up very fast and

throughout the game the tackling was of the highest standard and despite some good handling, the defences did not relent. A clever chip from outside half Steffan Rees almost put in Connor Pitt for the first try but a cruel bounce took the ball away from him. After some sustained pressure from the

forwards, determined running from flanker Paul Stubbs and good support play created a chance for winger Llyr Thomas to show determination to cross over in the corner. Good work from the kick off created

an opening for Gorseinon’s centre, Tim Payne, who put the ball over the heads of the Aberystwyth backs. Good covering from scrum half Gryff Jones allowed him to minor the ball just in time. On 25 minutes, an injury to Robbie

Parry meant that he had to be replaced by Steffan Evans. Despite this, Aber continued to dominate and a 40 metre break from Gruff Jones gave Aber good field position. Good interplay from the forwards led to Paul Stubbs crashing over after a 10 metre

run. The conversion was missed. A bullocking run by prop Kevin Jones

from his own 22 led to a penalty to Aber for holding but unfortunately he sustained an injury which resulted in him having to be replaced at half time by Owen Howells. The start of the second half saw

Gorseinon playing their best rugby of the game, but Aber defended very well to keep their line intact. Aber gradually clawed their way into Gorseinon’s half where a delicate chip by outside half Steffan Rees was well gathered by centre Steff Rees, who raced to score wide out. After 25 minutes of the second half,

prop James Plumridge was forced off and the scrums became uncontested, which was a shame for Aber as they held the upper hand here. With five minutes to go, Gorseinon had

to replace their second row Nicky Southgate after he clashed heads with his second row partner. Aberystwyth raised their game to

further heights, desperate to get the fourth try and the bonus point. Strong work in the tackle by Paul

Stubbs led to him earning a penalty close to the line, from which he battered his way across the line. Llyr Thomas converted with the final kick of the match. This had been an excellent all round

performance from the team, both in attack and defence, despite having a number of players unavailable before the game and losing a number during it. Any number of players could have been

named as Aberystwyth’s man of the match and the visitors chose second row Arwel Lloyd for his industrious performance throughout the game.

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