Ryan: Rowlands can have huge impact


Boss Dean Ryan believes new recruit Will Rowlands can have a huge impact at Dragons – praising his enthusiasm and desire to get involved with the region.

Dragons officially announced on Thursday that Wales international lock Rowlands would be a Dragon from the 2021/22 season.

And Director of Dragons Rugby Ryan – a long-term admirer of the second row – is delighted that Rowlands is not only coming but has also fully bought into the vision at the region.

“He is 6ft 7ins, international quality with an incredible work rate. That doesn't come along very often,” said Ryan.

“I also still think he has a huge amount of room to get better through his experiences at international level. There is a lot more to come from him and that's what is most exciting.

“Will was someone that we quite clearly identified when we looked at the Exiles market as an opportunity for us to offer a way back to compete in Wales,.

“We’ve had successes around people like Jonah (Holmes) and Nick (Tompkins) and we have been in conversations with Will for some time.

“His return and his enthusiasm and desire to get involved here at the Dragons is something we are really excited about.

“I thought the English Premiership final last season against Exeter, in poor conditions and with Wasps low on quality because of Covid, really shone a light on Will’s contribution to that front five,” he added.

“I thought that typified the type of player both us and Wales would want back in Wales.”

Rowlands will arrive in the summer once he has completed the current season with Wasps.

And Ryan believes transparency over what Rowlands is coming into and the region’s plans for the future were key to his signature.

“It’s important we are selling what we want here and what we are trying to do,” he said. “I think it’s important for that player to understand that and understand what we want from him.

“Will had a very clear idea of what we were about and how he fits in to that model, what the expectation is and how we can support him to go on and continue to play for Wales.

“We definitely need more players around that 28 to 29-years-old age bracket, proven in the English Premiership and finding his feet in the international arena now.

“I can’t talk about the recruitment here before my time, but it has been transparent about what the challenge is,” he added.

“I think we have always been quite clear the Dragons are a different challenge to the other regions, it’s at a different point in it’s time.

“If framed in the right way it can be equally as exciting and when people are quite clear on what that is, they understand what it is they are joining and they understand what they are there to contribute.

“I think it does become quite exciting. I have never really dressed it up to be something else and I think that transparency has helped us in the recruitment market when talking to individuals.”

Will had a very clear idea of what we were about and how he fits in to that model, what the expectation is and how we can support him to go on and continue to play for Wales...
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