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  • "Good luck Luke, you have progressed from being an average lock at the begining of your career to a really good international level player. You have the look of an Ian Jones (AB) about you now. Your work rate, competivness and combativness have improved many fold over the last couple of seasons and yours must be one of the first on the Wales team sheet now. Sorry to see you go, but you will always be a RP favorite."
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Loyal Luke Charteris' Dragons hopes

Loyal Luke Charteris' Dragons hopes

Loyal Luke Charteris' Dragons hopes

First published in Dragons South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

LUKE Charteris doesn’t expect to be reading about doom and gloom at Newport Gwent Dragons when he logs onto the internet in Perpignan next season.

The Dragons skipper ended his eight-year spell at Rodney Parade in Saturday’s 22-18 RaboDirect Pro12 loss to table-topping Leinster.

The 29-year-old lock has penned a lucrative deal to head over to the Top14, but after the final whistle was still referring to what “we” can do to make the next campaign a better one.

“It was a disappointing way to end the season,” said Charteris. “I would have liked sign off with a win but it wasn’t to be and the boys will learn from it.

“As we’ve been saying most of the season, it was not the result we wanted but we showed good heart to come back at the end (earning a losing bonus point with two late tries).

“I just hope that they can really push on next year because there were a lot of young boys out there that got their first taste of senior rugby this season.

“The team needs strengthening in a few areas but I am pretty sure they can really push on and get some better results, which they deserve.

“This season has not been what we wanted and our goals at the beginning of the season were to push for the playoffs and certainly get in the Heineken Cup. We didn’t do that.

“You look back and there are so many games that we should have won, a point here and a point there makes a big difference and the season has petered out a bit at the end.

“The boys have just got to work hard in the off-season and build.”

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