Llandovery RFC’s annual 25 Club Dinner took place at the Church Bank clubhouse on Friday evening, writes Tom Hughes.

The 25 Club has been going since 2018 with 25 members raising nearly £100,000 in that time to help the parent club finance its running and playing costs.

Members were treated to an excellent three-course meal, supplied by Golden Valley Catering, and enjoyed a sport and general knowledge quiz before the highlight of the evening – a Question and Answer Forum, chaired by journalist, Huw S Thomas.

Drovers head coach Euros Evans, attack coach Gareth Potter and defence coach Tom Hancock adeptly fielded a variety of questions from the floor on all rugby matters but principally on the past season.

That the Drovers won the WRU National Cup, topped the Indigo Premiership table and beat Newport 14-7 in the Premiership play-off was a source of great pride for the three coaches but they were quick to praise their back room staff.

“We could not have done the treble without the outstanding contribution of a host of people,” said Evans, now in his ninth year in charge of the side.

Young Noah Potter, younger son of Gareth Potter, was particularly singled out for his exemplary work as rugby analyst, his meticulous preparations and presentations forming a vital part of the Drovers success. 

“We were lucky to have many talented players, performing at the peak of their careers,” said Potter senior.

“We had a nice blend of mature and promising players, the experience of Jack Jones, Lee Rees, Stuart Worrall, Rhodri Jones, Berian Watkins and Adam Warren benefitting those under 20 such as Macs Page, Harry Thomas, Josh Morse, Jack Davies and Kian Abraham."

The coaches gave valuable insight into their rugby philosophy, tactical thinking and training methods to an enthusiastic audience.

25 Club members Mickey Gough, Margaret Davies, Nigel Clarke, Tony Williams, Mark Vince, Rob Salt and Kate Morgan asked a range of questions, all answered with sure aplomb by the three coaches.

Evans also paid a personal tribute to former Llandovery President Phil Davies - “a great rugby man who has been a guide and influence to so many people on and off the field.”

The one disappointment of the evening was the news from Evans that Tom Hancock would be leaving Church Bank and his job as Head of Rugby at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman to take up a post as defence coach at the Dragons.

“Our defence record this year has been the best in the Premiership and Tom’s role in that has been crucial to our success,” said Evans.

“I shall look back on my time at Llandovery as an invaluable help to my rugby career,” said Hancock.

“I have learned so much working with Euros and Gareth over the last two and a half years and will look back fondly at my time with the Drovers.”

The event ended with a standing ovation for all three coaches to round off an enjoyable evening at Church Bank.