Young centre gets Dragons trial

First published in Sport by

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons are giving a trial to North Walian centre Pat Leach who played for England Counties on their Far East tour this summer.

Leach, who is 23 and from Colwyn Bay, has joined up with the Dragons in nearby Aberysytwyth on their pre-season training camp.

He was with Manchester in England Division One last season and has also played for Orrell and Cheshire. He is a pretty useful cricketer, too, playing at Minor Counties level for Wales and having trials with Warwickshire and Derbyshire.

Dragons head coach Paul Turner said: “Pat is quite a promising player, we are having him on trial and having a look at him.”

Leach, Newport centre Tom Riley and Adam Hughes from the academy lined up with Ashley Smith as the one fit, established Dragons centre in a full blown trial match at Abersytwyth yesterday, as they try to cover for the temporary absence through injury of Matthew Watkins and Rhodri Davies, plus the loss of Rory Sidey and Marc Stcherbina.

“Tom is a good player and Adam, though a lot younger, will come through, while Aled Brew who is big and powerful can play there as well,” said an unworried Turner.

Number eight Joe Bearman, the Argus readers’ Dragons player-of-the-year two years in a row, provided a bonus when he came through unscathed after missing the final few games of last season with a broken bone in his foot.

“That was Joe’s first 80 minutes for a long time and he looked good alongside some of the new signings. Robert Sidoli and Gavin Thomas will bring more stability to the pack with Gavin the George Smith type of player we’ve been lacking since Colin Charvis stopped playing.

“Danny Lee’s workrate was exceptional and the scrum, with new props Ali McKenzie and Ben Castle, looked good, though, of course, it wasn’t like a real game.

“But it was a good exercise and we got a few cobwebs off,” said Turner. “We also had a look at a couple of the new laws with Nigel Owens coming along.

“We also did a PR exercise at Builth Wells and Aberystwyth Town RFC. It’s not our region, but we felt we had a duty to go to these clubs and we presented them with plaques and ties. Charv came along, he’s a household name, of course.”

The Dragons return today and will begin preparations for their friendly against Mike Ruddock’s Worcester at Rodney Parade next Friday night.

Comments (12)

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1:17pm Fri 14 Aug 09

Monte_Fisto says...

So we ship out Gareth Maule to Llanelli RFC and get a young centre from the Scarlets 'region' in return? What was the point in letting Maule go then?
So we ship out Gareth Maule to Llanelli RFC and get a young centre from the Scarlets 'region' in return? What was the point in letting Maule go then? Monte_Fisto
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Fri 14 Aug 09

Newport Dave says...

Good question.

In fairness to Gareth he was nevr flavour of the month here and nobody can blame him for moving.

He spent most of his time stuck at Pandy Park. What message does that send to any potential Dragons players?
Good question. In fairness to Gareth he was nevr flavour of the month here and nobody can blame him for moving. He spent most of his time stuck at Pandy Park. What message does that send to any potential Dragons players? Newport Dave
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Fri 14 Aug 09

Halfway Harry says...

I dont think Gareth Maule had much to offer I'm afraid. I know he didn't have to many chances. Having said that I'm sure PT could have found another young centre from this region. Has anyone heard of a Super 14 threequarter from South Africa that PT is supposed to be interested in.
I dont think Gareth Maule had much to offer I'm afraid. I know he didn't have to many chances. Having said that I'm sure PT could have found another young centre from this region. Has anyone heard of a Super 14 threequarter from South Africa that PT is supposed to be interested in. Halfway Harry
  • Score: 0

2:20am Sat 15 Aug 09

broadsworddan says...

An overseas inside centre with international experience would be just the ticket. Yes we must and we will develop regional and academy centres but they need someone to show them the way. Otuerwisewe run the risk of seriously humiliating them against the likes of jamie Roberts and co. Also I reckon arlidge is and will become more of a tidy out half once we can squire a big unit at 12. Afterall, he's a linking man so he needs good carriers with whom to link. I would love to see brew groomed to become a twelve, he's big and he's got the skills. I believe tjhe general shape of the 12 will change over the next few years after the success of jamie Roberts conversion, we'll see clubs around the world trying to copy the format. Just like with Jonah. Why don't we be at the front of the revolution and do it now with brew. it'd be a positive statement of intent. I still think p. T. Is keeping his cards to his chest on the centre issue. Hipefully it will be a souh African signing with international experience. why not, sidey has left us with an overseas space to fill? Also excited about tom Riley, hope he can step up to the plate. P.s. Does anyone know what they are playing at by not asking craig hill to join the dragons? He's a blatant touch of class and a perfect linking 7 a la martyn Williams. He played brilliantly for us at the end of last season. Get him signed Paul before another region does, he's going places.
An overseas inside centre with international experience would be just the ticket. Yes we must and we will develop regional and academy centres but they need someone to show them the way. Otuerwisewe run the risk of seriously humiliating them against the likes of jamie Roberts and co. Also I reckon arlidge is and will become more of a tidy out half once we can squire a big unit at 12. Afterall, he's a linking man so he needs good carriers with whom to link. I would love to see brew groomed to become a twelve, he's big and he's got the skills. I believe tjhe general shape of the 12 will change over the next few years after the success of jamie Roberts conversion, we'll see clubs around the world trying to copy the format. Just like with Jonah. Why don't we be at the front of the revolution and do it now with brew. it'd be a positive statement of intent. I still think p. T. Is keeping his cards to his chest on the centre issue. Hipefully it will be a souh African signing with international experience. why not, sidey has left us with an overseas space to fill? Also excited about tom Riley, hope he can step up to the plate. P.s. Does anyone know what they are playing at by not asking craig hill to join the dragons? He's a blatant touch of class and a perfect linking 7 a la martyn Williams. He played brilliantly for us at the end of last season. Get him signed Paul before another region does, he's going places. broadsworddan
  • Score: 0

8:58am Sat 15 Aug 09

ngd1234 says...

Top and bottom of it all PT has dropped yet another huge clanger. Both Maule and Dollman had enough regional experience, were versatile, offered different things ie Maule's strength and ability to make breaks and Dollman's footballing skills. Both local lads who probably wasnt over straining the payroll. Im sorry to say but Tom Riley is premiership level at best. When on earth is PT going to be accountable for his total self destruction of our region?
Top and bottom of it all PT has dropped yet another huge clanger. Both Maule and Dollman had enough regional experience, were versatile, offered different things ie Maule's strength and ability to make breaks and Dollman's footballing skills. Both local lads who probably wasnt over straining the payroll. Im sorry to say but Tom Riley is premiership level at best. When on earth is PT going to be accountable for his total self destruction of our region? ngd1234
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Sat 15 Aug 09

Monte_Fisto says...

Word, ngd.

This is the final nail in the coffin for Turner for me, he had an absolute gem in Dolman and we put in our best performances of the last couple of seasons with him in midfield and he boots him out the door to sign this dirt-tracker. Maule might be limited but I will be amazed if Leach turns out to be any better.
Word, ngd. This is the final nail in the coffin for Turner for me, he had an absolute gem in Dolman and we put in our best performances of the last couple of seasons with him in midfield and he boots him out the door to sign this dirt-tracker. Maule might be limited but I will be amazed if Leach turns out to be any better. Monte_Fisto
  • Score: 0

12:38am Sun 16 Aug 09

ngd1234 says...

EXACTLY;

Everytime i recall these pair playing, Maule for the run of games that ended with us qualifying for Europe (scored in nearly every game i think) and Dollman so brilliantly switching to fullback and also centre in the demolishing of Leinster (end of last season). Its un explainable how he has let these gwent lads go, tried to keep Rory Sidey who was no better and now finds himself with a very vunerable midfield to say the least!! Who on earth is he accountable to? Because obviously he is immune to the Board members!!! Complete and utter Joke!!!!!
EXACTLY; Everytime i recall these pair playing, Maule for the run of games that ended with us qualifying for Europe (scored in nearly every game i think) and Dollman so brilliantly switching to fullback and also centre in the demolishing of Leinster (end of last season). Its un explainable how he has let these gwent lads go, tried to keep Rory Sidey who was no better and now finds himself with a very vunerable midfield to say the least!! Who on earth is he accountable to? Because obviously he is immune to the Board members!!! Complete and utter Joke!!!!! ngd1234
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Sun 16 Aug 09

youngdragons4wales says...

MAULE was a very exciting prospect in my view, he had the power to brake the line, and just wot we needed at 12, ofer the forwards a go-forward platform and get sum momentum into the game! a real shame as it sounds like he didnt want to leve the region! and same goes for dollmon, hes filled in at fullback and played verywell, and (if im not mistaken) won premership player of the season in the same year a mr james hook was playing 10 4 neath.... ahhh well im shhhhhure we'll b beter next season!

keep it tight paul, n play jayson at 10 :D
MAULE was a very exciting prospect in my view, he had the power to brake the line, and just wot we needed at 12, ofer the forwards a go-forward platform and get sum momentum into the game! a real shame as it sounds like he didnt want to leve the region! and same goes for dollmon, hes filled in at fullback and played verywell, and (if im not mistaken) won premership player of the season in the same year a mr james hook was playing 10 4 neath.... ahhh well im shhhhhure we'll b beter next season! keep it tight paul, n play jayson at 10 :D youngdragons4wales
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Tue 18 Aug 09

Monte_Fisto says...

I dunno if Aled Brew could be the answer, he isn't the best handler of the ball, but is powerful.

If it's a unit we want just stick Bearman there, we've got the back row cover...
I dunno if Aled Brew could be the answer, he isn't the best handler of the ball, but is powerful. If it's a unit we want just stick Bearman there, we've got the back row cover... Monte_Fisto
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Wed 19 Aug 09

youngdragons4wales says...

i'd b interested in your 1st 15 for the dragons next season...comments welcome..

and my all time dragons 15, coached by chris anderson. m russell as main benefactor :P

15. l hinton
14. m jess
13. mj watkins
12. s tuipolotu (cant spell his name sorry)
11. t selly
10. c sweeney
9. g cooper

1. leaons/lions
2. daley
3. j corsi
4. b grithiffs
5. r sidoli
6. r oakley
7. g thomas
8. r beatie

players who didnt quite make the final cut:
warlow, hurcus, alrdige, wane evens, b davey, s stewart.

YET IM STILL GOIN OVER NEXT SEASON!!!
i'd b interested in your 1st 15 for the dragons next season...comments welcome.. and my all time dragons 15, coached by chris anderson. m russell as main benefactor :P 15. l hinton 14. m jess 13. mj watkins 12. s tuipolotu (cant spell his name sorry) 11. t selly 10. c sweeney 9. g cooper 1. leaons/lions 2. daley 3. j corsi 4. b grithiffs 5. r sidoli 6. r oakley 7. g thomas 8. r beatie players who didnt quite make the final cut: warlow, hurcus, alrdige, wane evens, b davey, s stewart. YET IM STILL GOIN OVER NEXT SEASON!!! youngdragons4wales
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Wed 19 Aug 09

Monte_Fisto says...

Prolly be something like:

M Thomas, Fuss, Brew, Watkins, Harries, Tovey, Lee, Bearman, G Thomas, Lydiate, Madam Jones, Charteris, Castle, Gustafson, and Willis.

I know I said Aled Brew has cack hands but the more I think about it the more I think he could be a handful in midfield as Watkins is a very good mover of the ball.
Prolly be something like: M Thomas, Fuss, Brew, Watkins, Harries, Tovey, Lee, Bearman, G Thomas, Lydiate, Madam Jones, Charteris, Castle, Gustafson, and Willis. I know I said Aled Brew has cack hands but the more I think about it the more I think he could be a handful in midfield as Watkins is a very good mover of the ball. Monte_Fisto
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Wed 19 Aug 09

BODWD says...

Plus Monte, Harries is fast, very fast.

He's proved he's got some gas playing in the 7s.
Plus Monte, Harries is fast, very fast. He's proved he's got some gas playing in the 7s. BODWD
  • Score: 0

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