Dragons' search for overseas star is stepped up

South Wales Argus: LATEST CASUALTY: Andrew Coombs LATEST CASUALTY: Andrew Coombs

LEINSTER V DRAGONS (Saturday, KO 6.15)

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons are to step up their bid for an overseas international forward after suffering another injury blow.

Lock/back row forward Andrew Coombs has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after injuring his left knee in the RaboDirect Pro12 opener against Zebre.

He played on for an hour – believing that it was just a dead leg after colliding with an opponent in the opening exchanges – but scans revealed that he ruptured posterior cruciate ligaments.

That is not as dramatic as it sounds but the 27-year-old will miss the first block of Pro12 fixtures.

The Dragons were already starting to look at recruiting a back row forward after openside Darren Waters suffered a pre-season knee injury that will lead to at least six months out.

But the search will now intensity with the coaching staff trawling through footage this week and starting to whittle down a list of potential candidates.

The hunt is complicated by the fact that arrivals from overseas must be rubber-stamped by the Welsh Rugby Union as part of the participation agreement.

To get the green light it is required that candidates have played international rugby in the last 15 months, though exceptions have been made.

“We need to go out in the market place and we are actively looking for an overseas player now,” said head coach Darren Edwards.

“We kept an overseas slot and a pot of money back because we knew that we were light this season with a 38-man squad.

“They (southern hemisphere players) are all coming out of their domestic competitions now and we are looking for a back five specialist.

“We don’t have potential targets yet and that is our week’s work but it’s in the back of my mind that we will be losing Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau to Wales duty.”

Coombs is not the only one to suffer an injury blow last weekend.

Winger Mike Poole will be out for two months after a blow to his left knee when playing for Bedwas.

The 26-year-old, who was set to be involved at Leinster on Saturday, has undergone three major operations on his right knee but his latest set back will not require surgery.

He will not be involved in Saturday’s clash in Dublin and nor will Lydiate after he bruised his chest against Zebre.

It is not serious and he will be back in the starting line-up for the home derby against Cardiff Blues on September 15.

The Dragons are boosted for their clash with the European champions at the Royal Dublin Society by the return of skipper Lewis Evans. The back row forward missed all of pre-season and the win over Zebre with a calf injury but will be on the bench in the capital.

Bedwas’ Liam Davies, the former Scarlets and Brive scrum-half, is once again in the matchday squad because Wayne Evans is still struggling with a back injury.

Wales Under-18s star Hallam Amos will go from being back in the classroom at Monmouth School this week to featuring among the replacements against the Heineken Cup champions.

There will be changes up front given that the starting front row against Zebre – hooker Steve Jones and props Phil Price and Dan Way – are being left in Wales.

It means that former Munster tighthead Tim Ryan is poised for his debut from the bench in his homeland.

Dragons squad: D Evans, H Amos, T Prydie, W Harries, A Tuilagi, A Smith, P Leach, L Robling, S Jones, J Evans, L Davies, N Williams, A Coundley, S Parry, H Gustafson, R Ryan, N Buck, A Jones, I Nimmo, J Groves, I Jones, H Stoddart, L Evans, T Brown, T Faletau.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:24am Thu 6 Sep 12

broadsworddan says...

Here we go again. The wisdom of having a smaller squad is proving doubtful. Losing Coombs means we will suffer in second row and back row. Plus waters is almost like losing three players. When you see the scarlets signing southern hem forwards for fun it does gall a bit, especially when we know how in debt they are. This signing has to be a quality one or our campaign could be over before it starts. We shouldn't be talking about luck, as regards to injury. Injuries will happen so we need systems to cope.
Here we go again. The wisdom of having a smaller squad is proving doubtful. Losing Coombs means we will suffer in second row and back row. Plus waters is almost like losing three players. When you see the scarlets signing southern hem forwards for fun it does gall a bit, especially when we know how in debt they are. This signing has to be a quality one or our campaign could be over before it starts. We shouldn't be talking about luck, as regards to injury. Injuries will happen so we need systems to cope. broadsworddan

8:29am Thu 6 Sep 12

East Newport Dave says...

We are part way into the season and now looking to recruit. Poor planning and management taking a gamble on hoping to get by.
We are part way into the season and now looking to recruit. Poor planning and management taking a gamble on hoping to get by. East Newport Dave

8:38am Thu 6 Sep 12

Mr_T says...

It is difficult to recruit southern hemisphere players in our pre-season as they are still playing in their doemstic competitions and are contacted to do so........hence why you see southern hemisphere players being recruited in September/October...
....Sacarlets have just signed a giant south african second row.....
It is difficult to recruit southern hemisphere players in our pre-season as they are still playing in their doemstic competitions and are contacted to do so........hence why you see southern hemisphere players being recruited in September/October... ....Sacarlets have just signed a giant south african second row..... Mr_T

9:00am Thu 6 Sep 12

high x boy says...

there are 40 players on the Dragons web site with plenty more with local clubs.Stick with the local boys is the best idea.
there are 40 players on the Dragons web site with plenty more with local clubs.Stick with the local boys is the best idea. high x boy

5:00pm Thu 6 Sep 12

corpardguy says...

Trying to stay with Local lads is great as far as it goes, but staying competitive in todays game requires more than that.
We (actually any team) have only been successful when there is a strong back row, its where most of the possession comes from in the modern game. We cannot afford to be less than top class here (same as in the front row, but for different but still important reasons).
Try trolloing the US/Canada lots of colleges there now play the game and there are a LOT of 6' 4" wannabes dying to get paid to help with college fees and a chance to live in 'Brit' land and get some "Kulture"
Trying to stay with Local lads is great as far as it goes, but staying competitive in todays game requires more than that. We (actually any team) have only been successful when there is a strong back row, its where most of the possession comes from in the modern game. We cannot afford to be less than top class here (same as in the front row, but for different but still important reasons). Try trolloing the US/Canada lots of colleges there now play the game and there are a LOT of 6' 4" wannabes dying to get paid to help with college fees and a chance to live in 'Brit' land and get some "Kulture" corpardguy

8:41pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Keith Barnett says...

Is that Harry in the pic??
Is that Harry in the pic?? Keith Barnett

8:56pm Thu 6 Sep 12

corpardguy says...

Nahh! he's got clothes on
Nahh! he's got clothes on corpardguy

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