PONTYPOOL, South Wales, 30TH August 2017 – Pontypool RFC is pleased to announce that Rob Nash and Dan Robinson will serve as the club’s captain and vice-captain, respectively, for the 2017-2018 WRU National Championship campaign.
Since returning to Pontypool RFC during the club’s quest to return to the Principality Premiership three years ago, the duo’s thunderous performances on the field have garnered the admiration of their fellow squad members and the Pooler faithful watching from the terraces, in equal measure.
Leading the team on the field will be familiar territory for 30-year-old Nash. In 2012, he successfully guided Cross Keys RFC to the club’s first and only WRU National Cup triumph, when they defeated Pontypridd RFC 32-19 at a packed-out Principality Stadium.
The combative open-side flanker will be looking to apply the same principles as Pooler seek to defend their WRU National Championship crown when the new season gets under way on Saturday.
“It is an immense honour to have been awarded the captaincy of my hometown club,” said Nash.
“Having grown up watching Pooler and idolising the many legendary players who have represented the club, I fully appreciate the history involved and the responsibility associated with such a role.
“Pontypool RFC belongs in the top flight of Welsh semi-professional rugby and together with Dan, we will do everything possible as captain and vice-captain to ensure that the club achieves promotion back to the Principality Premiership when ring-fencing ends next season.
“There is still much work to be done, but we have a strong and unified team – both on and off the field – and I am very confident that we will achieve that goal for the benefit of the entire town.”
On welcoming the Pontypool-born duo to their new roles, Pontypool RFC head coach, Leighton Jones, said: “I am delighted for both Rob and Dan and I have every confidence that we have two individuals at the helm who have fully bought in to how we endeavour to behave as a club.
“Central to our success has been our unwavering commitment to placing good, honest values ahead of any other factor when selecting our team and both individuals have epitomised these qualities consistently, season after season.
“Both men are honest, hard working and respectful of the club and its heritage. Maintaining these qualities and reinforcing them constantly will be critical if we are to not only defend our Championship title, but continue to grow in all areas of our game."
Nash assumes his new position following three successful seasons of captaincy from hooker, Ben Parry, who played a leading role in Pooler claiming last season’s WRU National Championship title and embarking on the WRU National Cup run that inspired the wider Welsh rugby fraternity.
The decision to relinquish the team captaincy was admirably made by Parry himself, who selflessly cited a desire to focus fully on his playing performance, whilst continuing to play a crucial role in guiding the club’s ever-strengthening pack of forwards.
On passing the baton on to Nash, Parry said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to captain Pontypool RFC for the past three years and the experience is something that I will cherish for many years to come.
“We have been through many up and downs, but I am exceptionally proud of how we rebounded to build a title winning team last season.
“I will still play a prominent role in supporting the club’s growth in the coming seasons and it was reflecting on this that I decided that now was the right time to re-focus my efforts on my performance and guiding my teammates in a new way.
“I would like to thank everybody who has supported me throughout my time as captain and I am absolutely determined to support both Rob and Dan as they embark on this new experience.”
On the contributions made by Parry to Pontypool RFC, both as a player and captain, Jones remarked: “I am personally very grateful for the incredible effort Ben has placed into the club, both on and off the field.
“Ben carried with him the huge responsibility of leading us into a new era and he has done so with class, professionalism and humility at all times.
“His decision to relinquish captaincy duties was incredibly courageous and this move has only served to further increase the respect the team has for him, both as a person and a player.
“Ben will play a valuable part in our future and for that, we are very grateful.”