The Dragons nominee for inside centre, as voted for by our supporters, for the regional all stars Ultimate XV is Ashley Smith. The midfielder faces the tough task of displacing Gavin Henson (Ospreys), Regan King (Scarlets) and Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues).
CLICK HERE to vote for Ashley Smith...
Starting for the Dragons Ultimate XV at inside-centre is Ashley Smith, with the Dragons academy graduate selected by supporters with 45% of the doopoll vote.
Centurion appearance maker Smith managed to earn victory over Andy Marinos and Jack Dixon with less than 100 votes separating the three centres.
Born in Caerleon, Smith was identified at an early age as he went through the Dragons academy and went on to represent Wales throughout the age grades and captained the u20’s in the 2007 Six Nations Tournament.
The 33-year-old began his time with the region in 2005 and made an outstanding contribution with over 160 appearances in his ten years at Rodney Parade. Before his time with the Men of Gwent, Smith made a number of appearances for premiership side Newport RFC.
Ashley made his Dragons debut in the 2005-06 season and was appointed captain in September 2009 following injury to lock Luke Charteris. In May 2010 he was voted Dragons Player of the Year in a poll by South Wales Argus readers, which proved his popularity among supporters.
From an early age Smith proved to be a natural leader. He was known as a strong and physical inside centre who organised the team and players around him.
Unfortunately, Smith was forced to retire in 2015 with immediate effect at the young age of 28. The centre had ‘suffered a series of concussive events’ and retired on medical grounds. Smith will go down as a Dragons legend and has rightfully taking his place in the Dragons Ultimate XV.
Here is what some of you said about his inclusion in the Dragons Ultimate XV:
“Ash is a dragons legend..”
“Ashley was the best centre we've had”
“He put everything into every game”
“Smith was the linchpin of the defence every time he played. The whole backline looked better every time he was there.”