11:22am Monday 19th August 2013
By Will Bain
PONTYPOOL confirmed the signings last week of outside-half Matt O’Brien, back-row Ben Sparks as well as a return to the club for winger Chirs Lang.
Lang returns after serving a two year ban for taking a banned substance, while Banfield arrives having featured last year for neighbours Pontypool United.
Sparks is a highly rated No.8 and blindside flanker who joins from English side Cinderford in the Forest od Dean. As we first reported last week the former Cardiff Metropolitan University outside-half O’Brien has been in talks with the club throughout the Summer.
The classy 10 has been training with Ebbw Vale during the close season and impressed in a starting birth at Aberavon.
In fact all three players featured in Pooler’s 40-0 loss at the Talbot Athletic ground.
Head coach Mike Hook said: “All of them add a bit more experience and some of that steel to us.
“Ben Sparks brings new dynamism in the back-row and he’ll add further competition in an area where there is already good competition.
“He’s played for some good sides you know with people like Gloucester A so again we think we’ve added some real quality and competition in that area,.
“Chris [Lang]is obviously a bit rusty having been out of the game for a while, but I think he showed on Saturday the quality he has and he’s working really hard.
Local second-row Adam Banfield remains training with the club, after featurig at Aberavon
Hook said: "He is great physical presence. He’s a local lad obviously who’s desperate to play for the club and I think in this league he could be a bit of an enforcer for us if that’s the right word. He’s got a few things to work on but he has shown a huge appetite to work so it looks really positive. “
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