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Thomas Rhys Thomas joins Dragons coaching staff

Thomas made 180 appearances for Cardiff Blues. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Dragons coaching staff as his playing career nears a conclusion.

Thomas has not completely closed the door on playing again, but the 35-year-old's move into coaching has seen Dragons boss Bernard Jackman add young front rowers Liam Belcher and Gerard Ellis to his squad.

I am delighted to be able to bring Thomas Rhys Thomas into our coaching team as I feel he has the attributes to make an outstanding coach.

At the Dragons, we want to build a reputation for developing players and coaches and Rhys is the type of character who epitomises the values that are important to us in our group.

– Bernard Jackman, Dragons Head Coach talking to Dragons' official website

Newport RFC approves WRU takeover

Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Rugby Union's takeover of the Newport Gwent Dragons has been overwhelmingly approved by Newport RFC shareholders at a crucial vote on the future of the rugby in the region.

A majority of 81% voted in favour of the proposals at a meeting at Rodney Parade.

The vote means the WRU will also purchase the Rodney Parade site from Newport RFC as part of the £3,750,000 deal.

This is an important day not just for rugby in Gwent, but for Welsh Rugby and we will be doing everything possible to ensure the long term success of the Dragons, but the hard work starts now.

All parties recognise that from a Dragons perspective significant improvement is required on and off the pitch and that now is the time for a new approach.

Our investment is equally designed to safeguard Newport RFC and its rich history at Rodney Parade.

We have put together the very best package we can for rugby in Gwent. Initially we will focus on consolidating a high performance environment for the players and on ensuring high quality coaching. We recognise however that this will take time and will focus in the initial two to three years on laying solid foundations.

– Martyn Phillips, WRU chief executive

This is a huge moment in the history of Newport Gwent Dragons. The decision is the result of two years of hard work and we must express our gratitude to everyone involved in the process. We now look forward to a bright future for the Dragons, as well as Newport RFC, and the continuation of rugby at this historic venue.

– Stuart Davies, Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC CEO


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.

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