NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 2013/14
One of the greatest mistakes in the history of Newport rugby was the partnership with Ebbw Vale to form the Gwent Dragons regional rugby side. The new team launched on July 28 2003 was an unmitigated disaster with Marcus Russell at the helm. Only a small number signed up for season tickets and Newport supporters collected 10,000 signatures for the City to be included in the name. Despite his initial error Newport backer Tony Brown stepped in on August 21 2003, renaming the side 'Newport Gwent Dragons'. The team is now run as a joint arrangement between Newport and the WRU under the management of Rodney Parade Limited. Newport fans were further alienated when a Director, Martyn Hazell, asked them not to shout 'Newport' at home games. From difficult beginnings the team has now established a core support of 4-5,000 but has failed to make any inroads in the Celtic League or European Cup. It is coached by Paul Turner, his record is little short of disastrous. Since 2005 the region has not finished above 7th in the Celtic League and has been the bottom placed Welsh side in all but one of his seasons at Rodney Parade. For more information go to http://www.newportgwentdragons.com/
News regularly updated
NGDs PLAY CONNACHT FIRST UP
July 10 - Newport Gwent Dragons opening fixture in the Guinness Pro 12 is away at Connacht on the weekend of September 5-7.
NGDs FACE EURO EXIT
June 26 - It was announced early this month that Newport Gwent Dragons will play Stade Francias Paris, Newcastle Falcons and a FIRA-AER 2 qualifier in the second tier European competition.
BT SPONSORS REGIONS
May 20 - The four Welsh rugby regions have agreed a £4.5 million sponsorship deal with BT Sport in a move that will see the broadcaster's logo appear on club jerseys and the Cardiff Blues' home stadium renamed. The new multimillion-pound agreement will run for three years.
Following the deal, the Cardiff Blues' ground will now be known as BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. It is the first time that naming rights have been granted for the Arms Park. BT Sport will also become kit sponsor to Cardiff Blues Women's Rugby, although the men's team will continue to be sponsored by Airbus Group.
The four professional sides will participate in the Aviva Premiership Sevens alongside the twelve English sides at the start of next season.
The BT Sport logo will appear on the front of the home and away shirts of the Scarlets and the Newport Gwent Dragons. The logo will also be featured on the front of the Ospreys' home shirt and the back of the away kit to avoid a clash with an existing advertising partner.
MORGAN STARS AS TREVISO DEFEATED
May 10 - Caerleon sixth-former Tyler Morgan was the star performer as Newport Gwent Dragons edged out Treviso 20-19 at Rodney Parade.
Jason Tovey's late penalty secured a victory for the Dragons in an entertaining final game of the season against Treviso. The Italians led 11-10 at the break through Fabio Semenzato's try while Tyler Morgan replied with a storming forty metre run. Morgan kicked through for Will Harries's try to put the Dragons ahead but Manoa Vosawai's try and Alberto di Bernardo's penalty restored Treviso's lead. Tovey's kick gave them the win.
PROP JOINS NEWPORT GDs
May 9 - Prop Lloyd Fairbrother has joined Newport Gwent Dragons. Fairbrother has spent the last two seasons playing for Albion as a dual-registered player from Exeter Chiefs. Tight head Fairbrother is 22 years of age and Welsh-qualified.
DRAGONS ABANDON EBBW IDEA
May 9 - Newport Gwent Dragons have abandoned the idea of playing a match at Ebbw Vale this season. This follows the recent embarrassing attempt to change the team's logo. All games will be played in Newport this season.
DRAGONS CONTINUE LOSING RUN
May 3 - Llanelli Scarlets secured a place in next season's European Rugby Champions Cup with a bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons. The hosts ran in four tries in an entertaining and feisty encounter.
Jake Ball, Gareth Davies, Jordan Williams and Ken Owens touched down for the hosts and Rhys Priestland kicked 14 points. Tom Prydie rewarded Dragons for a gutsy effort with two tries with Kris Burton and Jason Tovey's boots doing the rest.
JONES REIGN A DISASTER FOR DRAGONS
Apr 20 - The policy of picking coaches who have little or no affinity for Newport is proving disastrous for the city's professional team. Fresh from his failure at London Welsh Lyn Jones is destined to drag the team to the rock bottom of the Welsh regions and just above desperate Zebre at the foot of the Celtic League. He says players futures will be on the line but despite a large increase in the budget for players he has been a complete failure at a time when Cardiff are at their lowest ebb and Newport Gwent Dragons cannot even ease past them. The players are being criticised for mediocrity but the rugby is hardly sexy.
In a dismal Judgement Day derby the Ospreys edged the match at the Millennium Stadium. Despite being in the ascendant the Swansea based region wasted chance after chance in a scoreless first half. A fine counter-attack saw Richie Rees put the Dragons ahead against the run of play after a Faletau break. A Tom Habberfield try and a late penalty try for a collapsed scrum gave the Ospreys victory.
TREVISO TOO GOOD FOR DRAGONS
Apr 12 - A 'mediocre' performance from Newport Gwent Dragons saw them go down heavily by 47-25 to Treviso.
Ludovico Nitoglia, Luke McLean, Manoa Vosawai and Matteo Muccignat went over for home tries. Matthew Screech, Ross Wardle and Cory Hill scored Dragons' tries.
EDINBURGH EASE PAST DRAGONS
Apr 4 - An unconventional kick off at 6.30 on a Thursday for Newport Gwent Dragons did little to improve their prospects against Edinburgh. In a poor game the Scots stepped up a gear for half and hour and did enough to win. A late try by the Dragons raised hopes of a recovery but left them with the consolation of a bonus point.
GOUGHIE COMES HOME FOR LAST HURRAH
Apr 3 - Newport Gwent Dragons have signed veteran ex-Wales and Newport RFC lock Ian Gough from London Irish for 2014-15. Gough is 37.
LATE TRY SAVES DRAGONS' BLUSHES
Mar 29 - A late Jevon Groves try saved the blushes of Newport Gwent Dragons as they salvaged at 25-25 draw at lowly Zebre.
The Italian side took the lead through Samuela Vunisa's early try when Faletau was in the sin-bin. Dan Evans hit back, as did Ashley Smith after Gonzalo Garcia's penalty. Jason Tovey added extras Smith's try and kicked a penalty. Luciano Orquera kicked five penalties to give Zebre a 25-18 lead, but Groves broke free for Dragons' crucial try converted by Tovey.
SHAMEFUL DISPLAY AS CONNACHT WIN AT RP
Mar 22 - The parlous state of professional rugby in Wales was underlined by Connacht's comfortable win at Rodney Parade.
John Muldoon, twice, and Rodney Ah You went over for Connacht tries before Tom Prydie hit back. Aly Muldowney and Michael Swift also added tries for the visitors.
Mar 1 - Newport Gwent Dragons were thumped 38-8 by an Ulster side who were far too strong for them at Ravenhill yesterday. The Ulster men took their foot of the peddle in the last quarter to allow a Ross Wardle try.
LATE TRY DENIES GLASGOW
Feb 23 - A very late try from Newport Gwent Dragons replacement winger Ross Wardle, converted by Rhys Jones, saw the home side deny Glasgow and their Celtic League aspirations.
Two tries for Glasgow included a fine solo effort for scrum-half Niko Matawalu's from his own 22, and a score from Rob Harley. The Newport based region struck with scores from Owen Evans, Cory Hill and Wardle.
LIVELY EFFORT AGAINST LEADERS
Feb 15 - Leinster had to work hard to beat off a lively Dragons in Deublin by 31-19. McGrath charged over to give Leinster a 10-3 lead at the break but the Dragons hit back with tries from Ashley Smith and Richie Rees. Leinster's pressure resulted in two penalty tries and Dragons replacement Francisco Chaparro was sent-off in the final minute for a dangerous tackle. Darren Hudson sprinted over for the bonus-point try deep into injury-time
BORIS SIGNS / GAME OFF
Feb 8 - Newport Gwent Dragons have signed experienced prop Boris Stankovich from Leicester Tigers on a two-year deal. The 34-year-old, who started his career as a hooker, will move to Rodney Parade for the start of the 2014-15 season after seven years at the Tigers. Stankovich has made 113 appearances for the Tigers since arriving at Welford Road from French side Albi in 2007.
Newport Gwent Dragons' Pro12 clash against Edinburgh on Sunday has been postponed following heavy rain that has affected the Rodney Parade pitch. An inspection took place on Saturday at 09:00 GMT, with Friday's League Two football clash between Newport County and Fleetwood having been postponed.
FALCONS BEAT DRAGONS
Feb 1 - Newcastle Falcons thumped Newport Gwent Dragons 29-0 at home in the LV Cup.
NORTHAMPTON OVERPOWER DRAGONS
Jan 25 - A second or third string Northampton pack had too much power for Newport Gwent Dragons in wet conditions at Rodney Parade yesterday. The Saints ran out 34-16 victors scoring 19 unanswered second half points.
Northampton tries came from wing Fa'atoina Autagavaia, a penalty try, hooker Mike Haywood, prop Gareth Denman and back row Gerrit Jan Van Vetize. All the Dragons' points came in the first half - a try from scrum-half Luc Jones plus a conversion and three penalties by fly-half Jason Tovey.
VICTORY IN ITALY
Jan 16 - Newport Gwent Dragons enjoyed success in Italy with a 24-12 victory over Mogliani after being 9-3 down at half time. Tries came from Evans and Wardle with four penalties (three from Jones, 1 from Burton) and a conversion from Burton.
FALETAU AND COOMBS IN WALES SQUAD
Jan 14 - Newport GD's Toby Faletau and Andrew Coombs have been named in Warren Gatland's 32 strong Welsh 6 Nations squad.
BATH TOO HOT FOR NGDs
Jan 12 - Bath were too strong for Newport Gwent Dragons easily disposing of them 30-13 at Rodney Parade in the Amlin Cup. The West Country giants scored four tries in the first half through Young, Biggs, Gilbert and Houston. Nic Cudd got a second half try for the Dragons.
NGDs CONFIRM TWO SIGNINGS
Jan 8 - Lee Byrne and Aled Brew have agreed to join Newport Gwent Dragons next season. The Clermont Auvergne full-back Byrne, aged 33, has signed a two-year contract. Former Dragon wing Brew, 27, is also currently playing in France with Biarritz and has agreed a three-year deal.
REGIONAL RUGBY WALES SLATES LATEST WRU MISSIVE TO MEMBER CLUBS
Jan 5 - Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) has reacted strongly to another Welsh Rugby Union PR mishap. The Union has written to the clubs stating that it is increasing funding to the regions under the Participation Agreement recently rejected and accusing the regions of intending to breakaway from its control.
• The Regions would question why the WRU are scaremongering about a break away. This has never been mentioned by the Regions who have only asked for positive support as outlined in their most recent statement of 31st December. As stated then; it continues to be the absolute intent and strong desire of RRW and the Regions to work with the WRU in progressing such a positive position for the next five years of professional Rugby in Wales, or indeed to discuss any proposals WRU themselves may have that could provide an even stronger platform for sustainable and competitive professional rugby across Wales.
• It is incredulous to the Welsh Regions that the WRU refused to discuss any item in the current Participation Agreement before its deadline of 31st December but is now willing to offer a "new agreement" on different terms. Equally it is yet to be explained by the WRU why bringing an additional £12m into the game by the Regions, is not in the best interests of Welsh rugby.
• It would seem from the recent correspondence from the WRU to clubs in Wales that their focus is all about control and not the best interests of Welsh rugby.
Read the RRW response here
CARDIFF BLUES AVENGE BOXING DAY DEFEAT
Jan 1 - Cardiff Blues avenged their Boxing Day defeat by beating Newport Gwent Dragons 21-13 in another rain-soaked holiday fixture.
Leigh Halfpenny kicked 15 points as Cardiff Blues, the other points added by Rhys Patchell (penalty) and Gareth Davies (drop goal). The Dragons got a try through Harries converted by Tovey, who added two penalties but missed at least another three. Let us hope this is the last time the Dragons / Blues epithets are used in a Cardiff / Newport fxture,
NGDs BEAT CARDIFF BLUES
Dec 26 - Newport Gwent Dragons beat Cardiff Blues 22-16 in front of an 8000 plus crowd at Rodney Parade today. Fly-half Jason Tovey kicked 17 points, including the conversion of Toby Faletau's first-half try. Blues replied with 11 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny and hooker Kristian Dacey's fourth try in four consecutive league matches.
CONNACHT SEAL VICTORY WITH LATE DROP KICK
Dec 22 - Connacht came back from the dead to beat Newport Gwent Dragons 14-11 in Galway. The victory ended eight consecutive defeat for the Newport based region. A late try by Fionn Carr (75 minutes) and a drop kick right at the end from Dan Parks. Dan Evans's scored an arly try helped for the NGD's. Jason Tovey added two penalties.
HEAVY DEFEAT IN BORDEAUX
Dec 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons have no chance of making it to the Amlin Challenge Cup latter stages after a heavy defeat by 32-13 away to Bordeaux-Begles. The Newport based region had three players sin binned. Toby Faletau scored converted try but home fly half Nicolas Sanchez starred with 22 points.
The Newport Gwent Dragons beat French side Begles Bordeaux 42-20 on Friday night at Rodney Parade.
NARROW DEFEAT TO MUNSTER
Nov 30 - Ian Keatley kicked six penalties to give leaders Munster victory in their Pro 12 battle with Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday. The Newport region was 6-3 up after two Tovey penalties. Pewtner added a try but Keatley nudged Munster in front with three penalties. Tovey kicked a drop goal but Keatley carried on kicking penalties to give Munster a 18-14 victory. Att - 7118.
SURPRISE WIN AT GLASGOW
Nov 24 - Newport Gwent Dragons completed a fine win over Glasgow on Friday, winning by 23 points to 8. The match contained a virtuoso performance from Jason Tovey. Tovey scored a try, set up Will Harries score with a kick over the top, as well as landing both conversions, two penalties and a drop-goal. After an early try by Matawalu Glasgow failed to impressive. The Newport based region took the honours despite conceding three yellow cards.
DRAGONS BEAT WASPS
Nov 14 - Newport Gwent Dragons came out on top 20-8 in their midday fixture with a development London Wasps team at Rodney Parade in the LV Cup.
LV CUP DEFEAT AT LLANELLI
Nov 9 - A young Newport Gwent Dragons side included Ashton Hewitt and Tyler Morgan went down 21-13 to the Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets. Att - 5971
LEINSTER HOLD OFF NGDs
Nov 2 - Leinster held on after being forced to come from behind to win a hard-fought Pro12 encounter against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade. Ross Wardle's try helped Dragons to a 10-6 half-time lead but the game turned after lock Adam Jones was sin-binned. Leinster added two converted tries. The Irish side conceded two late Jason Tovey penalties. Att. 6174.
OSPREYS EASE PAST DRAGONS - CONCERN AS FALETAU IS INJURED
Oct 25 - Welsh openside Justin Tipuric scored a brace of tries as the Ospreys hammered Newport Gwent Dragons 40-17 at a lifeless Liberty Stadium. A penalty try and a further try for Scott Baldwin gave the Ospreys a bonus point. Dan Biggar scored 17 points (4 conversions, 3 penalties). Matthew Morgan added a drop goal.
For the NGD's Tom Prydie and Francisco Chaparro crossed with Kris Burton converting and dropping a goal. However, a major area of concern was the injury sustained by Dragons eight Toby Faletau who was carried off with his neck in a collar.
Medical officer Rohit Kulkarni told reporters the extent of the injury would become clear "within a day or so" he went on to say "Our suspicion is there's not much happening but we've got to be very careful, with neck injuries in particular."
HEATHCOTE STEERS BATH TO VICTORY
Oct 19 - Fly half Tom Heathcote kicked Bath to victory over Newport Gwent Dragons to make it two wins from two in the Challenge Cup.
The game was poised at 10-10 at half-time after Richard Lane's try was cancelled out by Wales international Toby Faletau, and Heathcoate and Jason Tovey exchanged penalties. But Heathcote landed three kicks in the second half to put the visitors ahead. And the Scotland back kicked his second conversion following Mat Gilbert's try to seal the win.
NGDs BEAT ANOTHER ITALIAN SIDE
Oct 12 - Newport Gwent Dragons opened their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a seven-tries-to-one win over Mogliano. The Italian side were 31-3 down at the break as Ross Wardle, Francisco Chaparro, Jonathan Evans and Will Harries went over.
Harries added a second before Ieuan Jones and Adam Hughes crossed. Kris Burton kicked six conversions and a penalty while the visitors points came from Tommaso Boni's try and Nicolo' Fadalti's penalty.
DRAGONS BEAT ZEBRAS
Oct 4 - Teenage wing Hallam Amos crossed for two tries as Newport Gwent Dragons maintained their winning record at home with victory against Zebre. Amos, 18, scored a try in each half to make it three wins out of three for the Dragons at Rodney Parade in the Pro12 this season.
FORTRESS RODNEY PARADE CONTINUES
Sep 21 - The Rodney Parade effect was evident again as Newport Gwent Dragons ended a long losing run against the Scarlets. Phil Price and Dan Evans both went over for the NGDs as they built a 17-3 lead. Rhys Priestland's kicking and a Scott Williams try boosted Scarlets' hopes. But the Dragons held out in a second half in which Jason Tovey and Tom Prydie edged the kicking duel with Priestland in front of a 6777 crowd.
DRAGONS TEST EDINBURGH
Sep 14 - The Dragons severely tested Edinburgh in their first away match. They lost thanks to a last-minute penalty from Harry Leonard. The fly-half, making his first start, had knocked a drop-goal attempt off target moments earlier.
A Tim Visser try gave the hosts a 10-point lead early in the second half but former Edinburgh scrum-half Richie Rees replied with a sniping touchdown. Kris Burton kicked the visitors level on 75 minutes before Leonard struck in front of 3692.
TOVEY GUIDES NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS TO FINE WIN
Sep 7 - The positive impact of Jason Tovey's return to Newport was well illustrated on Friday as the Dragons had just enough to beat Ulster 15-8 at Rodney Parade. In a match littered with errors and lacking fluent play a Roger Wilson try and a penalty from Paddy Jackson saw Ulster lead 8-6 at the end of the first half. But Jason Tovey having landed a drop goal and a penalty in the first stanza, followed that up with three penalties in the second period. Att - 5115.
DAVIES IS NEW CHIEF EXEC
Aug 28 - Newport Gwent Dragons & Newport RFC can announce that Gareth Davies has been appointed as their new Chief Executive.
The appointment of Davies, which follows the arrival of Lyn and Kingsley Jones to head up the coaching team at the Dragons, highlights the growing ambition at Rodney Parade. Davies will take up the position in September.
The former fly-half, who won 21 Wales caps and toured with the British Lions, has held a number of high-profile positions including head of sport at BBC Wales and chairman of the Sports Council for Wales.
Davies has just ended his tenure as Dean of the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Metropolitan University today. He has also been on the board of Leeds RFC. On his appointment Gareth Davies said “I have been hugely impressed by the professionalism and ambition shown throughout the business, both at the Dragons and Newport.
DRAGONS EDGE OUT BATH
Aug 23 - Newport Gwent Dragons edged out Bath 22-20 in a friendly at Rodney Parade on Friday night. Outside half Jason Tovey edged them home.
FALETAU EXTENDS CONTRACT
Aug 10 - Number eight Toby Faletau has agreed a new contract which will keep him at the Newport Gwent Dragons until June 2016.
The Wales and British and Irish Lions forward's decision to sign a two-year contract extension at Rodney Parade is a major boost for the region..
July 19 - Jason Tovey has re-joined to Newport Gwent Dragons after spending just one season with the Cardiff Blues.
The 24-year-old fly-half left Rodney Parade to join the Blues at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Dragons' director of rugby Lyn Jones said he was delighted after securing the player on a three year contract.
"Things haven't really worked out for him at the Blues but we are looking forward to... helping him to achieve his full potential," he said.
JONES BOYS JOIN DRAGONS
Jun 7 - Former Ospreys and Neath coach Lyn Jones will join Newport Gwent Dragons as director of rugby following his sacking as coach of London Welsh. Jun 24 - Lyn Jones is joined by Kingsley Jones
FIXTURES 2013 - 2014