RHYS Jones' return to Ebbw Vale has been confirmed by Premiership champions Merthyr, writes Chris Kirwan.

The influential fly-half is heading back to help the Steelmen's battle against the drop.

The 32-year-old former Dragons and Scarlets three-quarter, who used to be a regular with Wales on the World Rugby Sevens Series, headed for the Wern after an excellent season for Greg Woods' team.

He finished as the Premiership's top points scorer for 2018/19 and earned a move to Merthyr, who haven't hit the heights of recent seasons in their bid for a fourth title.

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Talks over a swift return to Eugene Cross Park started recently and the champions agreed to let the playmaker go once after a run of league fixtures while former Cardiff Blues fly-half Gareth Davies recovered from injury.

The Ironmen have now rubber-stamped the move, giving Ebbw a huge lift in their bid to avoid relegation to the WRU National Championship.

"Thank you and good luck Rhys Jones on your return to our friends and neighbours at Ebbw Vale," tweeted Merthyr.

The Steelmen enjoyed a superb home win against Pontypridd on Saturday that lifted them four points clear of bottom club Bridgend with a game in hand.

They have a tricky run of fixtures coming up that starts against Newport, who can be dragged into the relegation dogfight, at Rodney Parade a week on Friday.

Vale then entertain leaders Cardiff and head to Carmarthen Quins with the hope that experienced Jones can help them pick up precious points.

They will also hope that Ponty respond to their disappointment at Eugene Cross Park by beating the Ravens at Sardis Road in the only Premiership fixture of the weekend on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Newport have rearranged their game against Swansea, which was postponed on Sunday because of mumps in the Black and Ambers' squad, for Thursday, February 6 (kick-off 7.45pm).

They travel to Merthyr on Saturday, February 22 with a midday start because of Wales' Six Nations clash with France at Principality Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm).