PONTYPOOL, South Wales, 21st June 2018 - Pontypool RFC is pleased to announce the signings of Tomas Bainton from Newbridge RFC and Luke Basham from Talywain RFC for the 2018-2019 WRU National Championship campaign.
19-year-old Bainton will compete with Aaron Quick and Martin Luckwell for the number nine jersey, whilst 21-year-old Basham will add further depth to the backs with his versatility enabling him to play at outside-centre and wing.
Bainton impressed Pooler’s coaching team after training with the club since the turn of the year and is revelling at the chance to fight for his place as a fully-fledged member of the senior team.
On embarking on this new challenge, he said: “I am delighted to have committed my future to Pontypool and I am looking forward to contributing to the club’s aim of achieving promotion back to the Premiership.
“The overall professionalism of the club and the excellent standard of coaching was a huge draw for me, but the welcoming nature of the team was also key to me in wishing to remain here in Pontypool.
“As a young nine, I could not ask for two better mentors than Aaron Quick and Martin Luckwell. They are both experienced scrum-halves who I will continue to learn a huge amount from."
Basham’s arrival to Pontypool Park heralds the continuation of a proud relationship that exists between Pontypool RFC and the club’s near-neighbours, Taylwain RFC. The young back will be hoping to emulate the exploits of winger, Jordan Thomas, who had a breakout season for Pooler after graduating from Emlyn Park last summer.
“It is an incredible honour to be joining Pontypool RFC and I am very much aware of just how important the club has been to rugby in Torfaen,” said Basham.
“I am proud of the part Talywain RFC has played in helping me achieve this move and watching Jordan’s progress over the last year has helped me believe it was possible to play at a higher level.
“Pooler has a great environment and I am looking forward to working with my new teammates and helping the club get back to the top division of Welsh club rugby.”
The backs duo will be guided by Pooler’s backs coach, Matthew Jones, who is rapidly establishing a reputation for helping young talent grow and succeed at Pontypool Park.
On what both players will bring to the club, Jones said: “Tomas is very much a known quantity to me as I previously coached him in my role at Cross Keys College. He has a great work ethic and possesses a desire to keep learning and developing.
"Luke has done a fantastic job whilst at Talywain RFC last season and enjoyed a very good run of form. He is a player with a great skillset and I have every confidence that he will realise that potential with us in the coming seasons."