EBBW Vale have appointed Greg Woods as their new head coach.

The Steelmen have been without a boss since Lee Davies, who was in his first season as Nigel Davies’ successor, stepped down at the start of December.

They have plumped for Woods, who is leaving Cross Keys after the WRU National Cup clash with Pontypridd at Pandy Park on January 6.

The 37-year-old former hooker has been to the fore of Keys’ rise in the Principality Premiership and was at the helm when they had arguably the finest season in their history in 2011/12, winning the Swalec Cup and making it to the final of the British and Irish Cup when beaten by Munster A in Cork.

Woods will be charged with improving the fortunes of an Ebbw side who are in transition.

Led by Jason Strange, the Steelmen were runners-up on their return to the Premiership in 2015 but went one better the following year when they thrashed Pontypridd at Sardis Road.

Last season they finished seventh and they are struggling in the current campaign, sitting one from bottom in the eastern conference with three wins from 13 fixtures.

“We were delighted that a coach of Greg’s standing put himself forward for the role and as a man with superb experience in Premiership and Gwent rugby we felt that he was the ideal person to reverse the fall in performance and return the club to the top end of the Premiership,” said chairman Jon Jones.

“With over 500 games in the Premiership, creating highly competitive teams, a National Cup winner and B&I finalist, Greg will bring a clear focus and the experience required for the task in hand.

“Out of respect for Greg’s 15 years at Cross Keys we have agreed to a handover period that takes the clubs through to the next break in the season.

"The remainder of Greg’s coaching team will be identified in the next week or so.”

Woods’ move north to Eugene Cross Park will see Keys bringing in former Wales and Lions lock Ian Evans in the New Year.

Ex-Wales full-back Morgan Stoddart will be promoted to head coach, working alongside backs coach Aled James, director of rugby Jonathan Westwood and team manager Mark Prangell.

Evans, who was forced to retire because of a knee injury in April, will join them to look after the forwards.

The 33-year-old, who won 33 caps and toured Australia with the Lions in 2013, has been cutting his coaching teeth with Treorchy and will now step up to the Premiership.

“This announcement is touched with sadness but also excitement with our new coach on board,” read a Keys club statement.

“Ian brings a huge amount of experience and we are all looking forward to him joining the Keys family in early January.”

Ebbw play their final game of the first phases on Saturday when they host third-placed Bedwas while bottom club Bargoed travel to leaders Merthyr, who will earn the eight-point reward for the start of the combined Premiership if they win with a bonus point.