Pontypool RFC is pleased to announce the signing of Ben Flower ahead of the 2021-2022 WRU Specsavers National Championship season.
33-year-old Flower joins Pooler after announcing his retirement from professional rugby following a highly decorated playing career that saw the Welshman register more than 250 career appearances for Crusaders, Wigan and Leigh.
During his time with Wigan between 2012 and 2020, Flower won three Super League titles, a Challenge Cup and a World Club Challenge. He featured in the Grand Final winning sides in 2016 and 2018 and established himself as a leading figure in rugby league.
“I cannot wait to get to Pontypool Park and to get stuck into training and playing my part in helping Pooler achieve its ambitions,” said Flower. “I want to help the team in any way I can and ultimately, I want to enjoy the remainder of my playing career because when you’re having fun, you play your best rugby.
“I’ve been really impressed with the professionalism of the club and I’m looking forward to being around a good group of lads. It’s going to be a great season and I’m looking forward to getting going and coming back home.
“It’s also really special for me to be joining the club, because my uncle, Stephen Flower, played for Pontypool for several years throughout the 1980s and to follow in his footsteps means a lot. When I walk up those steps for the first time on game day, it’s going to be a fantastic feeling knowing I’ll be representing this club.”
Having spent his formative years within Pontypool United RFC’s youth setup through to under 16s, Flower knows the rugby landscape within Pontypool very well. When it became apparent that Flower was seeking to return home, Pontypool RFC’s head coach, Leighton Jones, knew it was a solid opportunity to add further quality to Pooler’s ranks.
On welcoming Flower to Pontypool Park, Jones said: “This is an excellent signing for Pontypool on many levels. Ben’s quality as a player speaks for itself. He is a formidable competitor who knows what is required to succeed at the highest level, time and time again. His experience will be a huge asset to us throughout what will be quite an unusual season.
“But that experience is also going to pay dividends on a wider scale. We pride ourselves on developing young talent at the club and Ben’s perspectives on the game will no doubt help improve our up-and-coming players, who will certainly learn a lot from such a seasoned professional.
“The business we’ve done throughout the pandemic to have retained such a strong nucleus and to also add the quality we have in key areas shows that we’re as ambitious as ever to keep bringing success to this club. We cannot control what the Welsh Rugby Union does and we have focussed on ourselves. We’re in a great position ahead of next season and we cannot wait to get started.”