Nigel Davies appointed new Ebbw Vale head coach

Nigel Davies won 29 caps for Wales between 1987 and 1997
Nigel Davies won 29 caps for Wales between 1987 and 1997

Former Wales coach Nigel Davies has taken over at Welsh Premiership club Ebbw Vale.

The ex-Scarlets and Gloucester director of rugby Davies, 50, has succeeded Premiership coach of the year Jason Strange, who has taken up a new role at the Welsh Rugby Union.

Davies has been out of work since being sacked by Gloucester in May 2014.

"I am looking forward to be back working in Welsh club rugby," said the former Llanelli and Wales centre.

The Steelmen were runners-up to Pontypridd in the league in 2014-15.

Davies hopes to build on the progress the Blaenau Gwent made under Strange.

"I've been really impressed by the hunger and drive within Ebbw Vale RFC to push forward on the back of an unprecedented period of success on the field in recent years," he told the club's website.

"The playing staff, coaching team and facilities are first class and the club has a vision and professional attitude that ranks alongside any top-flight club I have been involved with."

Allan Lewis
Allan Lewis played centre for Llanelli

He added: "It means a great deal to me personally to have the opportunity to contribute and support success in Welsh rugby and everything our game stands for at its best."

After assisting Gareth Jenkins during his Wales coaching tenure that ended at the 2007 World Cup, Davies took charge as Wales lost 34-12 against South Africa in September that year.

Davies then moved into a role at the WRU, which appointed Warren Gatland as Davies' full-time successor.

Strange has become elite coach development manager in the wake of ex-Wales assistant coach Allan Lewis announcing his retirement.

He had combined working at Eugene Cross Park with being WRU international skills coach.

Lewis, who had been working as the union's national academy coaching manager, will retire in July.

His previous roles included coaching Llanelli, Bridgend, Celtic Warriors and Newport. He also worked as an assistant to ex-Wales coaches Kevin Bowring and Graham Henry.

Lewis joined the WRU in 2012 from Hartpury College, where he was director of coaching and helped develop players such as Wales internationals Alex Cuthbert and Andries Pretorius.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed the last three and a half years at the Welsh Rugby Union," said Lewis.

"The priorities when I joined were to bring promising young coaches through but also to implement a playing philosophy to help establish a sustainable, Welsh game that was dynamic and mobile."

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