CHRIS KIRWAN: Dragons need a tighthead, but Adam Jones is not worth falling out over

South Wales Argus: CHRIS KIRWAN: Dragons need a tighthead, but Adam Jones is not worth falling out over CHRIS KIRWAN: Dragons need a tighthead, but Adam Jones is not worth falling out over

IF NEWPORT Gwent Dragons were offered the services of a Wales and Lions prop would they accept? Damn right, but steadying up their struggling scrum with Adam Jones might not be a price worth paying.

The tighthead is out of contract at the end of the season and his future remains uncertain. It is a right mess; Wales’ first choice number 3 is yet to pen a fresh deal with the Ospreys and is mulling over an offer from the Welsh Rugby Union.

The WRU-commissioned PriceWaterhouse Coopers report into the regions’ finances said that the introduction of central contracts is not the answer to the Welsh player drain.

Nonetheless, that is the route that the Union have gone down.

They failed to tempt Leigh Halfpenny, Scott Williams, Rhys Priestland or Alun Wyn Jones but succeeded in outbidding Cardiff Blues for Sam Warburton and are now trying to cut a deal with tighthead Jones.

It’s easy to see why a central contract is an attractive one for the 33-year-old – the big event on his horizon is the 2015 World Cup and he wants to remain fit, see off the challenges of Rhodri Jones and Samson Lee, star in the tournament and then sign off from the Test scene.

If he can be nursed through to another season, adding to his 94 caps in the autumn and Six Nations, then it will be job done.

He wants to be fresh and fit heading into the World Cup and that in a nutshell sums up what would be a problem for the Dragons if – and it’s a big if – they were to be offered Jones.

The arrival of the sizeable frame of Duncan Bell has emphasised the region’s desperate need for a seasoned campaigner to hold up the scrum.

The 39-year-old ex-England prop is a mortgage advisor that pops along to the odd training session yet he has rapidly become the Dragons’ key man.

Forget tackle stats and carry counts; they just need someone that isn’t a penalty machine at the set piece.

And they need a workhorse that is there steadying the ship throughout 2014/15, not watching on from the sidelines for much of it. If – and, once again, that is a massive if – Jones was to head to Rodney Parade then he would need to be joined by another top quality tighthead (and, with respect, new recruit Dave Young is not quite in that bracket).

But the biggest risk associated with any potential Jones arrival at the Dragons would be the possible damage done to the relationship with the Ospreys, who he has been with since their inception.

The four Welsh regions have been brought closer together by the recent European rugby spat and it was through their unified approach that they have earned a better deal.

Had one of them split from the group then the stance would have been weakened and staying tight is the route to earning much-needed collective commercial deals in the future.

It’s also worth remembering that the Ospreys, Blues and Scarlets could have stuck the boot into the underperforming Dragons over the past few years whenever ideas were brought up of a ‘development region’ or a reduction to three.

The quartet currently have an agreement not to play any individuals on a central contract but one presumes that will change next season if they are to avoid a PR disaster involving Warburton.

But they must not squabble over players; the services of Wales internationals must not drive a wedge between them.

If the Ospreys say they’d rather develop Wales Under-20s tighthead Nicky Thomas then fine, the Dragons could use Jones.

If the Ospreys were miffed at the prospect of a man who has played 191 times for them turning out at Rodney Parade then the Dragons would be better off looking elsewhere for a solution.

As much as the they need a top notch tighthead, Jones would not be worth falling out over.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:01pm Thu 3 Apr 14

ten2two says...

possible damage done to the relationship with the Ospreys.....

What!!!!! Tom Issacs, Richard Fussell, Morgan Allen, Joe Bearman, Ian Gough, Sam Parry, Dan Evans.... but is taking one of there payers who is at the end of their contract would be the end of the world!!!

Kirwan what are you talking about!
possible damage done to the relationship with the Ospreys..... What!!!!! Tom Issacs, Richard Fussell, Morgan Allen, Joe Bearman, Ian Gough, Sam Parry, Dan Evans.... but is taking one of there payers who is at the end of their contract would be the end of the world!!! Kirwan what are you talking about! ten2two
  • Score: 19

2:42pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Caerleonboy says...

ten2two wrote:
possible damage done to the relationship with the Ospreys.....

What!!!!! Tom Issacs, Richard Fussell, Morgan Allen, Joe Bearman, Ian Gough, Sam Parry, Dan Evans.... but is taking one of there payers who is at the end of their contract would be the end of the world!!!

Kirwan what are you talking about!
Exactly. The Ospreys have been poaching our players got years, players that the Dragons have put a lot of time and money into developing. Had they stayed with the Dragons, we'd have a much stronger side now. Adam Jones' future is up to him, if he considers the Dragons his first choice club to play for, I can't see how the Ospreys can feel that we have betrayed them, it's more Adam Jones has!
[quote][p][bold]ten2two[/bold] wrote: possible damage done to the relationship with the Ospreys..... What!!!!! Tom Issacs, Richard Fussell, Morgan Allen, Joe Bearman, Ian Gough, Sam Parry, Dan Evans.... but is taking one of there payers who is at the end of their contract would be the end of the world!!! Kirwan what are you talking about![/p][/quote]Exactly. The Ospreys have been poaching our players got years, players that the Dragons have put a lot of time and money into developing. Had they stayed with the Dragons, we'd have a much stronger side now. Adam Jones' future is up to him, if he considers the Dragons his first choice club to play for, I can't see how the Ospreys can feel that we have betrayed them, it's more Adam Jones has! Caerleonboy
  • Score: 8

2:44pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Caerleonboy says...

Plus Ryan Jones, he started off at Newport didn't he?
Plus Ryan Jones, he started off at Newport didn't he? Caerleonboy
  • Score: 7

4:44pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Newport76 says...

Caerleonboy wrote:
Plus Ryan Jones, he started off at Newport didn't he?
Ryan Jones only played one game for Newport RFC and that was as a replacement for Alix Popham in 1999.
[quote][p][bold]Caerleonboy[/bold] wrote: Plus Ryan Jones, he started off at Newport didn't he?[/p][/quote]Ryan Jones only played one game for Newport RFC and that was as a replacement for Alix Popham in 1999. Newport76
  • Score: 2

10:19am Fri 4 Apr 14

broadsworddan says...

What a nonsense article. The Dragons don't have to kow-tow to the other regions. What do you think this is? A servant master relationship? It's attitudes like yours Mr Kirwan which keeps our confidence and status lowly. The Ospreys thought nothing of sabotaging the Sam Lewis deal earlier this year...he had ALREADY SIGNED for the Dragons, they then commenced on an underhand campaign to pressure Sam into withdrawing his signature.

The Ospreys don't have any divine rights. Nor do any of the regions. They are all equal and they showed their solidarity by standing toe to toe against the WRU this year.

All that rubbish about the formation of a "development" region was just media tripe, Yes, the Dragons were the least successful region on the field, but they have been the most successful financially; so there wasn't ever a chance of being disbanded without them taking the WRU to the high courts. You thought the pontypool court case cost the WRU a lot of money?...if Newport rugby/Dragons had gone to the high courts versus the WRU, they'd have torn so many chunks off each other that Welsh rugby would be a wasteland for ten years...Therefore, that was never going to happen.
What a nonsense article. The Dragons don't have to kow-tow to the other regions. What do you think this is? A servant master relationship? It's attitudes like yours Mr Kirwan which keeps our confidence and status lowly. The Ospreys thought nothing of sabotaging the Sam Lewis deal earlier this year...he had ALREADY SIGNED for the Dragons, they then commenced on an underhand campaign to pressure Sam into withdrawing his signature. The Ospreys don't have any divine rights. Nor do any of the regions. They are all equal and they showed their solidarity by standing toe to toe against the WRU this year. All that rubbish about the formation of a "development" region was just media tripe, Yes, the Dragons were the least successful region on the field, but they have been the most successful financially; so there wasn't ever a chance of being disbanded without them taking the WRU to the high courts. You thought the pontypool court case cost the WRU a lot of money?...if Newport rugby/Dragons had gone to the high courts versus the WRU, they'd have torn so many chunks off each other that Welsh rugby would be a wasteland for ten years...Therefore, that was never going to happen. broadsworddan
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree