Lee Byrne attends PR012 London season launch

READY FOR BATTLE: Dragons skipper Lee Byrne, fourth from left, at today's PRO12 launch

READY FOR BATTLE: Dragons skipper Lee Byrne, fourth from left, at today's PRO12 launch

First published in Sport
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THE Guinness PRO12 was launched at the Diageo headquarters in Park Royal, London, today with all 12 clubs’ captains and coaches in attendance.

The season will kick off next Friday, September 5, with Munster v Edinburgh Rugby and Ospreys v Treviso, while Glasgow Warriors will host last year's champions Leinster at Scotstoun in a replay of the 2014 final on Saturday, September 6.

Newport Gwent Dragons start against Connacht in Galway on Saturday, September 6, and the other fixtures on the first weekend are Scarlets v Ulster and Zebre v Cardiff.

This year's PRO12 promises to have added spice with the new European competition qualification system.

And 227 international players from 14 countries will also be looking to secure a place in their national squads ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

The PRO12 experienced year on year growth for the fifth consecutive year for both match attendance and TV audiences in 2013/2014.

This season, the first 13 rounds will see at least 91 per cent of matches broadcast live in the UK and Ireland and 50 per cent of these matches will also be broadcast in more than one territory.

The PRO12 social media platforms and website have grown exponentially over recent years and will continue to keep supporters and media fully up to date throughout the season.

Some of the key features include live text commentary for 135 matches, news, imagery, videos.

In addition a new Guinness PRO12 app will be available on all platforms and downloadable in the coming days.

As ever, the South Wales Argus will provide fans with unparalleled coverage of the Dragons in print, online at southwalesargus.co.uk and via twitter at @argusondragons.

Comments (12)

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5:32pm Tue 26 Aug 14

newport15 says...

looking forward to a decent season with some good young players along with the experienced players brought in, nice to see a winning team at RP because the county dont look like winning many
looking forward to a decent season with some good young players along with the experienced players brought in, nice to see a winning team at RP because the county dont look like winning many newport15
  • Score: 4

6:32pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Risca1 says...

newport15 wrote:
looking forward to a decent season with some good young players along with the experienced players brought in, nice to see a winning team at RP because the county dont look like winning many
Like your confidence - a few poor results and fans will be calling for changes!
[quote][p][bold]newport15[/bold] wrote: looking forward to a decent season with some good young players along with the experienced players brought in, nice to see a winning team at RP because the county dont look like winning many[/p][/quote]Like your confidence - a few poor results and fans will be calling for changes! Risca1
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Tue 26 Aug 14

corpardguy says...

That new kit needs more gold(amber?) to be more noticeable, there are three other mostly black kits . IMHO the gold piping should be a broad line.

The fan base is now set so kit and/or names don't matter now. When the boys start winning, and winning well and consistently thats when the fans will come pouring in to see attractive winning rugby again. Regardless of name or strip.
That new kit needs more gold(amber?) to be more noticeable, there are three other mostly black kits . IMHO the gold piping should be a broad line. The fan base is now set so kit and/or names don't matter now. When the boys start winning, and winning well and consistently thats when the fans will come pouring in to see attractive winning rugby again. Regardless of name or strip. corpardguy
  • Score: 4

7:14pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Dragonsfan81 says...

Looking forward to a good season i think. We have to be contesting for a champions cup spot at least in my opinion! And i think we will be one of the best regions because we have the experience and the youth to go with that! I also hope we will be shoving a few scrums back this year, which will give our class backs and toby and chance to rip through defences! Come on boys, its our time.
Looking forward to a good season i think. We have to be contesting for a champions cup spot at least in my opinion! And i think we will be one of the best regions because we have the experience and the youth to go with that! I also hope we will be shoving a few scrums back this year, which will give our class backs and toby and chance to rip through defences! Come on boys, its our time. Dragonsfan81
  • Score: 5

10:10pm Tue 26 Aug 14

The People's Republic of Newp says...

Minor point I k now, but why London? This is a Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian comp, yes?
Minor point I k now, but why London? This is a Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian comp, yes? The People's Republic of Newp
  • Score: 1

10:35pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

The People's Republic of Newp wrote:
Minor point I k now, but why London? This is a Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian comp, yes?
Guinness HQ at Park Royal mate.
[quote][p][bold]The People's Republic of Newp[/bold] wrote: Minor point I k now, but why London? This is a Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian comp, yes?[/p][/quote]Guinness HQ at Park Royal mate. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 3

12:00am Wed 27 Aug 14

Risca1 says...

Everyone seems very confident after signing likes of Andy Powell and Lee Byrne. Can't see anything less than a 4th region place after the signings. Early season optimism is likely to be met by dissenting voices. Watch this space.....
Everyone seems very confident after signing likes of Andy Powell and Lee Byrne. Can't see anything less than a 4th region place after the signings. Early season optimism is likely to be met by dissenting voices. Watch this space..... Risca1
  • Score: -7

12:35am Wed 27 Aug 14

The People's Republic of Newp says...

Robert Shillabeer wrote:
The People's Republic of Newp wrote:
Minor point I k now, but why London? This is a Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian comp, yes?
Guinness HQ at Park Royal mate.
Cheers Mr S, missed that!!
[quote][p][bold]Robert Shillabeer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The People's Republic of Newp[/bold] wrote: Minor point I k now, but why London? This is a Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian comp, yes?[/p][/quote]Guinness HQ at Park Royal mate.[/p][/quote]Cheers Mr S, missed that!! The People's Republic of Newp
  • Score: 0

4:41am Wed 27 Aug 14

Dragonsfan81 says...

Risca1 wrote:
Everyone seems very confident after signing likes of Andy Powell and Lee Byrne. Can't see anything less than a 4th region place after the signings. Early season optimism is likely to be met by dissenting voices. Watch this space.....
I don't see why we shouldn't be confident? Those are class signings, if you mix that with the youth then we should be contesting for at least 2nd place region!
[quote][p][bold]Risca1[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems very confident after signing likes of Andy Powell and Lee Byrne. Can't see anything less than a 4th region place after the signings. Early season optimism is likely to be met by dissenting voices. Watch this space.....[/p][/quote]I don't see why we shouldn't be confident? Those are class signings, if you mix that with the youth then we should be contesting for at least 2nd place region! Dragonsfan81
  • Score: 5

9:52am Wed 27 Aug 14

Risca1 says...

Dragonsfan81 wrote:
Risca1 wrote:
Everyone seems very confident after signing likes of Andy Powell and Lee Byrne. Can't see anything less than a 4th region place after the signings. Early season optimism is likely to be met by dissenting voices. Watch this space.....
I don't see why we shouldn't be confident? Those are class signings, if you mix that with the youth then we should be contesting for at least 2nd place region!
Andy Powell is hardly likely to be the marquee signing that you are making out. Hope I'm wrong but what has he done since the golf buggy fiasco?
[quote][p][bold]Dragonsfan81[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Risca1[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems very confident after signing likes of Andy Powell and Lee Byrne. Can't see anything less than a 4th region place after the signings. Early season optimism is likely to be met by dissenting voices. Watch this space.....[/p][/quote]I don't see why we shouldn't be confident? Those are class signings, if you mix that with the youth then we should be contesting for at least 2nd place region![/p][/quote]Andy Powell is hardly likely to be the marquee signing that you are making out. Hope I'm wrong but what has he done since the golf buggy fiasco? Risca1
  • Score: -2

5:06pm Wed 27 Aug 14

corpardguy says...

Risca1: With recent signings and current coaching we should be a good mid table side and will be above Cardiff and probably Scarlets IMHO.
Our only weak back up is now #10 and possibly centre, but the scrum is pretty well covered (although you can never have enough tight heads) and back three are magic . Put another way .... its going to be better than the last couple of years by some distance.
All this on a restricted budget. Well done NGD aboard and back room staff.
Risca1: With recent signings and current coaching we should be a good mid table side and will be above Cardiff and probably Scarlets IMHO. Our only weak back up is now #10 and possibly centre, but the scrum is pretty well covered (although you can never have enough tight heads) and back three are magic . Put another way .... its going to be better than the last couple of years by some distance. All this on a restricted budget. Well done NGD aboard and back room staff. corpardguy
  • Score: 2

5:40pm Wed 27 Aug 14

SWBorderer says...

corpardguy wrote:
Risca1: With recent signings and current coaching we should be a good mid table side and will be above Cardiff and probably Scarlets IMHO.
Our only weak back up is now #10 and possibly centre, but the scrum is pretty well covered (although you can never have enough tight heads) and back three are magic . Put another way .... its going to be better than the last couple of years by some distance.
All this on a restricted budget. Well done NGD aboard and back room staff.
Hope you are right about the scrum, if we can only hold steady on our own ball it would be betterthan the last 3 years, our back row could be an awesome unit if they had some decent ball to work off. Let's hope that our pre-season confidence doesn't melt away before October as has happened so many times before.
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: Risca1: With recent signings and current coaching we should be a good mid table side and will be above Cardiff and probably Scarlets IMHO. Our only weak back up is now #10 and possibly centre, but the scrum is pretty well covered (although you can never have enough tight heads) and back three are magic . Put another way .... its going to be better than the last couple of years by some distance. All this on a restricted budget. Well done NGD aboard and back room staff.[/p][/quote]Hope you are right about the scrum, if we can only hold steady on our own ball it would be betterthan the last 3 years, our back row could be an awesome unit if they had some decent ball to work off. Let's hope that our pre-season confidence doesn't melt away before October as has happened so many times before. SWBorderer
  • Score: 0

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