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Paul Turner to identify Welsh talent outside Wales

Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The WRU has appointed former Newport Gwent Dragons and Sale Sharks head coach and former Wales outside half Paul Turner to help identify and recruit Welsh qualified players currently playing outside Wales.

He will work on a part-time basis with WRU Exiles programme manager Gareth Davies to unearth Welsh qualified talent across the UK and abroad, potentially making players available to the Welsh regions and the National Team.

I’m delighted to accept this role with the Welsh Rugby Union. It’s an area I’m very passionate about, having lived and worked outside of Wales for many years, and I’ll be looking for Welsh qualified players around the world who have the potential to play at the top level.

They may or may not be available to Welsh regions at the moment so I will continue to monitor their progress and their situation, in conjunction with the potential needs of the Welsh regions and Wales.”

– Paul Turner, Head Coach Newport Gwent Dragons

Harris signs for the Newport Gwent Dragons

Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images

Newport Gwent Dragons have announced that hooker Darran Harris has signed a deal with the Region.

The 23-year-old will join the set up this summer to prepare for the upcoming season. He joins the Dragons from English Championship side Rotherham Titans.

I’m delighted to have joined the Dragons. They are a great team with huge potential as demonstrated during the last two European Rugby Challenge Cup campaigns. Hopefully I can add to what seems to be a competitive environment.

I am looking forward to coming home to Wales and playing alongside many familiar faces, one of which being Sam Hobbs who is also a Brecon Boy.

– Darren Harris, hooker


‘Debt free’ Dragons an incredible opportunity says CEO

Dragons CEO Stuart Davies believes the sale of the club is an ' incredible opportunity' Credit: Newport Gwent Dragons

A debt free Dragons up for sale is an ‘incredible opportunity’ according to the club’s CEO.

Stuart Davies has begun the search for a buyer after the current board decided to put the outfit on the open market in the hope that new investors can be found to take them forward.

As part of any deal Dragons Chairman Martyn Hazell has also confirmed that he’ll effectively write off money owed to him leaving them debt free.

And despite having little in the way of tangible assets like a ground or training facilities, as well as mounting financial pressures, Davies believes the package on offer is a brilliant chance for investors to get involved for one or more people.

Asked who he thinks could be interested Davies said:

“A high wealth individual obviously, if it’s going to be one person.

“It could be a collective as well who have a passion for Gwent or Welsh rugby, or sport at large who think ‘we just want to be the people who do this’ and get involved.

‘It’s a clean slate, it’s an incredible opportunity.

‘Essentially it’s the existing board saying if you’re the right people with the right plan, the right intentions for the region and the ability to deliver on it then we’ll hand it over.

FT: Newport Gwent Dragons 21 - 26 Connacht

Credit: ITV News

The Newport Gwent Dragons have lost 21-26 at home against Irish side Connacht this evening.

Sale take the lead 38-5 against Newport Gwent Dragons

Sale Sharks' Josh Beaumont goes over for a try. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Sale ripped top spot in Pool 2 and a home quarter-final in the European Challenge Cup away from Newport Gwent Dragons with a 38-5 bonus-point victory at AJ Bell Stadium.

The Sharks had the victory all but sewn up inside the opening 20 minutes when, after Newport had lost Wales wing Hallam Amos to the sin-bin, they raced into a 17-0 lead through a Brian Mujati score and a penalty try.

The Dragons got on the board themselves through Ashton Hewitt's try on the hour but Sale had the final word when Mike Haley cruised over for his side's fifth try.


Adam Hughes rejoins Newport Gwent Dragons

Adam Hughes has re-signed with Newport Gwent Dragons until 2018.

The 25-year-old centre returned on loan from Exeter Chiefs for three months in October and has started every game since his return.

The former Wales Under-20 made his first appearance for the NG Dragons in 2010 before joining Bristol four years later.

Director of Rugby, Lyn Jones says it's an "important signing as they move forward.”

Its great that I have signed a contract with the Dragons. When I came back here I was on loan originally, but it has been going really well.

It is different here now compared to how it used to be, especially having the new training facility in Ystrad Mynach. We are a team on the up with all of the the players doing well and its only going to get better once we are back up to full strength.

– Adam Hughes

Lyn Jones agrees two-year deal with Dragons

Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Newport Gwent Dragons Director of Rugby, Lyn Jones, has signed a new two-year deal, keeping him at the club until June 2017.

The former Wales flanker was appointed in June 2013 after his time as head coach at London Welsh.

I’m delighted to extend my stay at the Dragons.

The first two years have been about change, but the next two will be about re-gaining respect in the world of rugby through consistent performances and results. We have all witnessed the potential here with so many ‘firsts’ this season.

The Dragons squad, Board and management team are good people and I look forward to September with much excitement in helping them achieve their goals.

– Lyn Jones, Director of Rugby

Ashley Smith retires from rugby

Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Newport Gwent Dragons have confirmed that Ashley Smith has retired on medical grounds with immediate effect.

The club says Smith has suffered a series of concussive events and after expert advice he has decided to hang up his boots.

The Dragons academy product was identified at an early age as he went on to represent Wales throughout the age grades and captained the U20s in the 2007 Six Nations Tournament.

The 28-year-old began his time with the Region in 2005 and has made an outstanding contribution with over 160 appearances for the Dragons. Before his time with the Men of Gwent, Smith made a number of appearances for premiership side Newport RFC.

I am utterly disappointed and devastated that I have been forced to retire through injury but I feel that the medical advice given to me cannot be ignored.

It’s been a great honour to play for my home Region. I have supported both Newport RFC and the Dragons since I was young so playing at Rodney Parade was a massive privilege for me.

I will miss running out in front of our fantastic fans and look forward to standing alongside them cheering on the boys in the future. To leave now when the potential within the group is about ready to come to fruition is hard to take. I have enjoyed my role as a senior member of the squad helping guide the next generation of players into what is certain to be an exciting time for them with both club and country.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife, family and close friends who have supported me throughout my rugby career and most recently over the past few weeks, which has been a stressful time for me.

I would also like to thank the medical team at Newport Gwent Dragons - they too have been a fantastic support.

Looking forward I am not sure what the future holds for me or even what I want to do, but I am planning on taking some time to reflect on my opportunities, wherever that may be.

To be lucky enough to have played our sport for a living is something I cannot describe, the memories I have gained along the way will last a lifetime as well as the values the game instills.

I wish the squad and everyone at the region all the very best for the future.

– Ashley Smith

We are all so upset at the news of Ashley’s forced retirement.

Over his ten years at Rodney Parade, he has been a credit to the Region, himself and his family. We will miss his maturity, football, decision making and his experience. It’s a big blow for us, but Ashley has made the right decision for himself and his family.

We wish him well for the future.

– Lyn Jones, Director of Rugby
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