Pontypool RFC is pleased to announce the signing of Ashley Sweet from Ebbw Vale RFC, as the club looks to build on a strong showing in the truncated 2019-2020 season.
The 32-year-old lock joins the club after spending much of his career at Ebbw Vale RFC. Sweet joined the Indigo Premiership outfit in 2010 and played his part as the club lifted the league title in 2016, beating Pontypridd RFC in the Grand Final at Sardis Road. Before his time at Ebbw Vale, Sweet enjoyed spells with Cross Keys RFC and Cardiff RFC and also spent the 2016-2017 season with the Dragons, but continued to play and coach at the Blaenau Gwent side.
On joining Pooler, Sweet said: "The opportunity to come and play for my hometown club is exciting. I would love to help Pooler finally realise its dream of achieving promotion to the Premiership and that's something I believe we can do next season. I am looking forward to re- acquainting myself with old teammates, getting to know new faces and mixing with the supporters and volunteers.
"I attended Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in the town and played for Pontypool Schools. I watched Pontypool from a young age and have a long-held ambition to play for the club at Pontypool Park. My parents live in Trevethin, so I am regularly visiting the area and can't wait to get stuck in.”
With lock stalwart, Danny Hodge, leaving the club last summer, the need for reinforcements in the second-row was clear. The signing of Sweet, much like the capture of fellow Premiership mainstay, Matthew Jarvis, is a strong indication of the club's desire to hit the ground running when rugby resumes.
On adding Sweet to the pack at Pontypool Park, head coach, Leighton Jones, said: "Ashley will add real steel to our forward pack. He is a confident player and will ensure we have a reliable set piece. He takes pride in his overall contribution and brings a huge work rate to his game, whether that be his work in the loose or in the tight.
"His leadership skills are also something we can utilise. We will undoubtedly be involved in a number of high-pressure, tense encounters next season and being able to call on guys who have been there and done it will be a huge help.
“Ashley has also expressed a desire to help develop the younger players in the squad and given his experience and game knowledge, that can only be a good thing as we furt