Dragons youngsters deserve summer call ups

Guinness PRO12 Editor

22 Apr 2010


Dragons backs coach Darren Edwards believes a number of his inform squad should be given a chance to tour with Wales this summer.

The Dragons have enjoyed a highly successful season to date and are still in the running for a top-four finish in the Magners League and a much sought-after Play-Off place.

Yet only two of the region’s players appeared for Wales in either the autumn internationals or Six Nations, something Edwards hopes will change when Wales face South Africa and then travel to New Zealand this summer. 

"I think the time has come to have a look at our boys a little more closely," the former Wales A scrum-half told the BBC.

"Possibly invest in them a little more resource and time and see how far they can take them.

"The response I’ve seen over this season and where those boys have come from and where they are at the moment is immense.

"I’m sure there’s more left in them."

The Dragons’ success this season has been largely built on young Welsh talent, with the likes of wings Aled Brew and Will Harries, scrum-half Wayne Evans, centre Ashley Smith, full back Martyn Thomas and fly-half Jason Tovey all impressing for the Rodney Parade outfit.

Throw in current internationals Luke Charteris and Dan Lydiate and fellow forwards Hugh Gustafson and Lewis Evans and the future of the region looks in good hands.

But the form of the Dragons’ Welsh contingent is yet to be rewarded on the international stage, with the Blues and Ospreys dominating Warren Gatland’s Wales squads in recent seasons.

Brew currently has three Welsh caps to his name but hasn’t played for his country for three years, while Lydiate and Charteris are the only other members of the above list to have represented Wales.

"Will Harries has come on the scene now and is probably the closest to Shane Williams in terms of beating their man one-on-one,” added Edwards.

"Wayne Evans is a game controller and could be a feature for Wales to get this continuity game going for them. And Martyn Thomas, the way he carries the ball back is electric.

"There’s unsung heroes as well – Ashley Smith is like glue for our team. I can’t speak about what the Wales coaching philosophies are but as a team player and player that makes things happen in our unit, he’s been fantastic.

"What people don’t realise is the age of some of these players. Aled Brew is 23 years old but people think he’s been around for ages.

"There’s nobody of that sort of power or build in Wales and he deserves some time invested in him.”