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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


Dragons Smith undergoes surgery on broken jaw

Ashley Smith, Newport Gwent Dragons Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Newport Gwent Dragons centre Ashley Smith has undergone surgery after suffering a fractured jaw during last nights European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Bucharest Wolves.

Smith suffered the injury in the first minute of the 69 - 17 win at Rodney Parade.

The 27 year-old was assessed at the ground and then taken to hospital last night where he has undergone surgery to have plates put into his jaw this morning.

The region say their medical staff and doctors are currently monitoring him and will have a further update on his recovery in 2-4 weeks.

Glasgow 19 Newport 15

Glasgow Warriors reclaimed a top-four place in the Guinness PRO12 after a hard-fought 19-15 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Scotstoun.

Having lost to Scarlets in the last round of games, it was not a spectacular response from Glasgow whose coach Gregor Townsend will know his men must play better to mount a serious challenge for the silverware this season.

If the Welsh visitors had capped a spell of sustained pressure in the closing 10 minutes, there could have been few complaints in the home camp.

Glasgow's points came from a penalty try and a 14-point contribution with the boot by Duncan Weir.

For the Dragons, who now sit second from bottom, Geraint Rhys Jones landed five penalties in an immaculate kicking performance.


Dragons beaten by Connacht in PRO12 opener

Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten 16-11 in their PRO12 season opener at Connacht.

Nic Cudd scored the Dragons' try in the first half, to cancel out Eoin McKeon's early score for the Irish team.

Connacht got on top during a crucial second half spell when Lee Byrne and Tyler Morgan were both sent to the sin bin.

Danie Poolman touched down, and Darragh Leader kicked another penalty to pull them clear.

A late penalty from Jason Tovey earned the Dragons a losing bonus point in Ireland.

Powell returning to Wales after signing for Dragons

Andy Powell will join the Dragons next season Credit: Nigel French/PA Archive

Former Wales and Lions back row Andy Powell is to join the Newport Gwent Dragons next season.

The Brecon-born forward has signed a one-year contract with the PRO12 side.

The 32-year-old, who has played for Wigan Warriors, London Wasps, Cardiff Blues, and the Llanelli Scarlets, said: "I am extremely delighted to be back in Wales. I have very fond memories of playing for Newport RFC and can remember the great support we had from fans when I previously played for them.

"I have been very impressed through the season with both Kingsley and Lyn's ambitions for the region. I am very excited for the challenges that lie ahead and look forward to challenging the other Welsh regions for silverware."

Dragons head coach, Kingsley Jones said: "I am very excited that we are bringing Andy back to Gwent to play. He has the X-factor and brings a lot to the team dynamics not forgetting his great ball carrying skills.

"He will be coming back here to challenge the likes of Taulupe Faletau for a first team spot as well as adding experience to the squad."

Kingsley Jones appointed as Dragons head coach

Newport Gwent Dragons have announced the appointment of Kingsley Jones as head coach on a three-year contract.

The 44-year-old former Wales flanker worked at the Dragons last season as an assistant coach.

Jones has previously coached Sale Sharks and the Russian national team. Credit: PA

"To be back in Gwent and coaching the Dragons is a big honour for me," said Jones, who won 10 Wales caps during a playing career that included spells with Ebbw Vale, Pontypridd and Gloucester.

"For the last seven or eight years we have been tagged as the fourth Welsh region, and the coaching post here is seen by many as a tough job. But I relish the challenge and feel that it is a great honour for me to be coaching Gwent, as I am born and bred in the region."

Dragons rugby director Lyn Jones said: "I am delighted that we have been able to recruit someone of such high coaching standards. It was great to have Kingsley here to help out at Rodney Parade last season, but having him here full-time will be beneficial to both the players and the coaching staff."

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