EBBW Vale’s hopes of a late charge towards the Principality Premiership play-offs have suffered a blow with wing Chris Levesley out for the rest of the season, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 23-year-old suffered a serious facial injury in the opening exchanges of last weekend’s thrilling league clash with RGC 1404 in Colwyn Bay which the north Walians won 37-31.
The lively winger went to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on Saturday and has undergone an operation on a fractured jaw, bringing an end to his 2016/17 campaign.
The champions will be without Levesley but hope to have centre/wing James Lewis back from a hip problem to feature in their must-win clash at Llandovery on April 29.
Ebbw continue to monitor Bath-bound fly-half Josh Lewis after he suffered a concussion in the loss to Pontypridd on March 17.
The playmaker has been sorely missed since suffering the blow in an incident that saw former Dragons fly-half Ceri Sweeney yellow-carded for a high challenge.
The Steelmen will be without Jonathan Davies for the Drovers clash after he was given a six-week suspension for his dismissal against Merthyr in the WRU National Cup.
The lock was red carded after a brawl and subsequently spat at an opponent – a misdemeanour that he apologised for and led to an official warning from the club that a repeat would lead to his sacking.
The Steelmen are currently fourth in Tier One but need to win at the Drovers and would probably also need to take the spoils against Merthyr at Eugene Cross Park on the final weekend of the regular season.
Merthyr and Bedwas are on the brink of sealing berths in the top four but Ponty, Ebbw, RGC and Aberavon are all chasing hard.
Llandovery host Aberavon in the sole Tier One fixture this weekend and Bargoed head to Neath in Tier Two.
RGC and Pontypridd clash at Principality Stadium on Sunday for the National Cup (kick-off 5.35pm) after Caerphilly and Amman United lock horns in the Bowl (1pm) and Penallta face Ystalyfera (3.15pm).