The squad have been split into three with one group visiting Brynmawr Comprehensive in Blaenau Gwent, St Albans in Torfaen is the destination for group two while the third group will be in Newbridge Comprehensive. Over 150 youngsters will be at each venue as The Dragons in conjunction with WRU Regional Development Officers give a masterclass session to local school children where the aim of the session is to encourage youngsters to play the game and by focusing on the sport benefit from the attributes rugby brings such as teamwork, communication and co-ordination. The youngsters will also have the opportunity to meet the Regional stars and international players of the game.
Local primary schools will visit the comprehensive school for the masterclass session and will benefit from training with some of the top names in professional rugby including current internationals Michael Owen, Gareth Cooper, Ceri Sweeney, Hal Luscombe, Luke Charteris and Ian Gough.
Speaking on the initiative Rugby Manager Jim McCreedy commented,
This initiative of The Dragons squad touring the Region was first launched at the start of Regional rugby. Last season various members of the squad visited schools, colleges, fetes, award ceremonies and training sessions as part of The Dragons commitment to the Region and now this season the squad are out en masse. The Dragons players will be working with WRU Development Officers in the various unitary authorities throughout Gwent and sessions will be moved to different venues in Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Newport and Caerphilly.
The sessions have been arranged in conjunction with the Regions WRU Development Officers and speaking on the initiative WRU Community Manager for the Dragons Region Gerry Roberts said,
Not only will the youngsters benefit from receiving training tips from The Dragons top players but the youngster who shows the most endeavour, the team who perform well in the touch rugby tournament and the youngster who asks the best question will all receive tickets to The Dragons Heineken Cup fixture against Castres the following day.
This is part of a ticketing initiative The Dragons run to give the people of Gwent a taste of what rugby at The Dragons Lair is like. The 50 club sides in Gwent all receive tickets for Dragons home games while the community department at Rodney Parade host the matchday experience which sees local schools and rugby clubs enjoy a training session from the community development officers, form the guard of honour for the two teams to run through when they come out onto the pitch before watching the game from the Family Stand.