Environment crucial for cup chance


Boss Dean Ryan is ready to give a number of his young Dragons opportunities in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup – but only as part of a stable environment where they can flourish.

Dragons kick-off the new competition when they welcome Scarlets to Rodney Parade on Sunday, April 25 (kick-off 1pm).

Looking ahead to the tournament, the Director of Dragons Rugby has indicated that he will use it as a chance to give  several of his up-and-coming players a chance to impress.

However, Ryan will resist making sweeping changes to ensure they have a competitive environment to excel in.

“Everybody has got a different idea to what this competition looks like and everybody has got a different group of players who have or haven’t played,” said Ryan. “A lot of our internationals haven’t played a huge amount of rugby.

“I have chatted to all the other coaches and we definitely want to see people we haven’t had the chance to see too.

“For us that is a different balance to some of the other regions, because it tends to be very young and we just have to try and get that right.

“Development needs people to be competitive first and we have been able to get Aneurin Owen, Ben Carter, Josh Reynolds and Rio Dyer in o a stable environment.

“The last thing I want is to go to an unstable environment against an opponent that is a lot stronger.

“What we agreed as coaches is that we would keep talking, and we talk in that week what is appropriate for each team and see if we can get that competition at the right level.”

One player who is set to make his debut for Dragons in the coming months is on loan full back Ioan Davies with Ryan keen to see the Cardiff Blues player in a match environment.

“I want see Ioan play,” he said. “Rio (Dyer) playing, Ben (Carter) starting and Josh (Reynolds) starting too.

“Ioan’s been great in training and, at some stage, we’ll have a look at him and see him in that environment. We’ll try and do that as a mix in the next few weeks.

“There are four or five people I would like to get into the environment,” he added.

“It would be wrong for us to try and make it all about development, but I definitely don’t want to get to the end of the Rainbow Cup and have not seen certain players.”

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