Dragons coach insists future is still bright

Guinness PRO12 Editor

15 Feb 2012


Newport Gwent Dragons coach Rob Appleyard believes the strength of the Gwent region’s youth set-up will see them ride out their player exodus storm.

The Dragons look set to lose a host of pivotal players at the end of the season with skipper Luke Charteris France-bound and Aled Brew reportedly poised to follow him.

Jason Tovey is also set to sign for Cardiff Blues with a number of other players at the negotiating table regarding their futures.

With the Dragons having just three RaboDirect PRO12 wins to their name the future appears bleak, but not according to Appleyard.

“I think some people feel there is a mass exodus but we work in two-yearly cycles and every season there are 15 to 20 players out of contract,” said the defence coach.

“There are some well-known and very likeable characters leaving and we share the supporters’ disappointment in that, but we also have a very strong team for next year – Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate to name but two.

“We have young players coming through at the Dragons such as Lewis Robling, Sam Parry, Adam Hughes is a regular now, Lewis Evans is coming along nicely. There is a good squad in place and we now have to be accurate in our recruitment and ensure they add to this environment.

“Of course we are frustrated to lose players but we are also grounded that the business has to be sustainable and there is only so much budget that can be put towards keeping them.”