Howells wins final Premiership award :: 26 May 14:00

Ebbw Vale centre Jordan Howells has picked up the final Principality Premiership Player of the Month of the season.

Howells helped the Principality Premiership finalists to their strong end to their league campaign, beating Cardiff 16-0 and Llanelli 51-0, both away from home after a home defeat to Bedwas in early April. They also saw off local rivals Cross Keys 27-17 in the Principality Premiership Play-Off to book a place in the Sardis Road final.

A product of Monmouth RFC, Howells joined Ebbw Vale at the start of last season and feels the step up has considerably helped his development.

“I’ve certainly come on a lot this season. The coaches have pushed us in the right direction and as players we have made each other better too.”

He believes a number of factors have combined to make the Steelmen’s first season back in the Principality Premiership one to remember.

“The work ethic, the coaching, the players and the supporters have all combined to help us be successful this season,” said Howells.

“We always aimed to get to the final, we had belief in ourselves that we could do it, but it was great to make that a reality.

“We gave it our all on the day but Ponty are a great outfit and we can be proud of what we achieved. We want to regroup and prepare for next season and hopefully make the final again.”

Ebbw Vale head coach Jason Strange spotted Howells while coaching him for the Wales Rugby League Under 16 team. He added, “Jordan has developed a lot recently and deserves this award for the way he finished the season.

“He has been one of our stand out backs this season and played an important part in the last month of our campaign both in the final few league games and the play-off matches. He has a lot of potential and has developed physically in the last 12 months too. Hopefully he will get more opportunities again next season to further progress
“Immediately after the final, some of our players were already talking about the experience of playing in the final, determined to come back next year. They learned so much from being part of that game and although we lost, when you consider they were playing in the Championship last season, they did incredibly well to compete with Pontypridd at Sardis Road in such a big occasion.”

Elizabeth Mahony, Principality Building Society’s Ebbw Vale branch manager, said: “From the centre of Ebbw Vale’s backline Jordan has delivered some fantastic performances for Ebbw Vale throughout April and the season.

“It was disappointing to see Ebbw Vale miss out in the Principality Premiership Final against Pontypridd but it was an amazing achievement for them to get there after only being promoted to the league this year. We look forward to seeing them in action again next season.”

Howells will join the season’s other Principality Premiership monthly winners at the tenth Principality Premiership Awards Dinner at the Millennium Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Last year’s Best Newcomer, Cross Keys flanker Scott Matthews is shortlisted for Best Player, along with Ebbw Vale’s Damied Hudd and Bridgend’s Tom O’Flaherty, while O’Flaherty is also shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category alongside Wales Under 20 pair Tomos Williams (Pontypridd) and Harrison Keddie (Ebbw Vale).