Back row legend Nic Cudd might be leaving Dragons at the end of the current season but his legacy is sure to live on after his work with the young forwards at the region.
Cudd clocked up 130 games in seven seasons at Rodney Parade, but he also made a big contribution off the field in recent years.
The 31-year-old was tasked with mentoring the regions’ rising back row stars in Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham and Lennon Greggains.
Wainwright has since gone on to play regularly for Wales, Basham has been named in the international set-up this season and Greggains is returning to full fitness after a knee injury.
“When I damaged my right knee a few years ago, and was out of action, I was given the job of mentoring some of our younger back row players,” said Cudd.
“I took a look at Aaron, Taine and Lennon. I watched their matches, studied them on video and looked at them in training.
“They were all exceptional talents and I hope that I might have been able to give them a little bit of help along the way.
“What has happened is that the back row has become the most competitive area in the Dragons squad.
“Aaron went on to play for Wales at the World Cup in Japan last year, while Taine had a brilliant first senior season and got into the Welsh squad. I see Aaron as a No 6, along with Lennon, but I reckon Taine is going to develop into an outstanding No 7.
“His big challenge now is building on this season. Teams will have plenty of video of him in action next season, will do their analysis on him and will be well aware of what he can do.
“Taine is a great ball carrier, good defensively and just needs to hone his contact skills at the breakdown to compete the package.”
They were all exceptional talents and I hope that I might have been able to give them a little bit of help along the way...