Ian Evans Takes Joint Charge At Merthyr After Rowland Phillips Departs

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Ian Evans of the Lions looks on during the match between Combined Country and the British & Irish Lions at Hunter Stadium on June 11, 2013 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Ian Evans Takes Joint Charge At Merthyr After Rowland Phillips Departs

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By Hannah Blackwell

Ian Evans has stepped up to become the new joint head coach at Merthyr RFC until the end of the season.

The former Wales and Lions second row – who was a regular alongside Alun Wyn Jones during the early part of Jones’ international career – has replaced Rowland Phillips, together with Gareth Davies..

The pair – who had been assistant coaches under Phillips – will take charge of Merthyr for the first time on Saturday in their fixture against Llandovery.

Merthyr currently lie sixth out of 13 sides in the Welsh Premiership table.

The club said that Phillips – a former Wales women’s head coach and former Wales men’s defence coach – had planned to stand down at The Wern at the end of the season.

In a statement, they said: “Rowland had expressed his intention to step away at the end of the 2023/24 season, this week’s mutual decision, merely bringing forward that intention.

“The experienced pairing of Ian Evans (Yanto) and Gareth Davies (Gazzy) will jointly assume the role of Head Coach for the remainder of this season.

“We would like to put on record our thanks to Rowland for his time with our club and wish him and his family well for the future. He will always be welcome at the Wern. #DiolchRowland”

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