Give Lewis Robling and Steffan Jones chance to shine urges legend Neil Jenkins

South Wales Argus: THE BATTLE FOR NO 10: Exciting prospect Lewis Robling THE BATTLE FOR NO 10: Exciting prospect Lewis Robling

WALES coach Neil Jenkins urges the Newport Gwent Dragons not to sign an overseas outside half because he believes they have two exciting home-grown prospects in Lewis Robling and Steffan Jones.

It is understood the Dragons have been thinking of bringing an experienced southern hemisphere stand off to Rodney Parade in the wake of Jason Tovey’s departure to Cardiff Blues.

Rumours they are targeting Super 15 fly half Peter Grant are misplaced because he has just signed a one-year extension deal with the Cape Town-based Stormers.

Ex-Wales outside half great and current national skills coach Jenkins pleads with the Dragons to give Robling, 20, and Jones, 21, a chance to flourish next season rather than look to bring in a player from outside Wales.

Tovey, Robling and Jones shared the outside half job fairly evenly at the Dragons last season, each player making 21, 19 and 14 appearances respectively.

Wales’ record points scorer Jenkins, scoring 1,049 in his 87 caps between 1991 and 2003, highlighted the number of outstanding No 10 Wales currently have.

After talking about Rhys Priestland, James Hook, Dan Biggar, Tovey and Ospreys youngsters Matthew Morgan and Sam Davies, he revealed he was also a big fan of Robling.

“I think Lewis is a lovely player – I like watching him play.

“I think he’s a very good player,” Jenkins said.

“He’s played a bit at 12 as well which will have done him good.

“Lewis sees the game, takes the ball to the line, distributes well. I know he’s got to keep working hard on his kicking and I know he’s doing that.

“I think he’s very talented and he’s got a good future ahead of him.

“With Jason leaving, going to the Blues, hopefully he’ll get a huge amount of game time and it will only improve him.”

On Jones, who hopes to be fit for the new season after breaking his ankle in action for Cross Keys during their superb British & Irish Cup win over Championship finalists Cornish Pirates in April, Jenkins said: “Jason leaving also opens the door for Steffan to battle it out with Lewis.

“They are both good players and Steffan’s a pretty good goal kicker as well.

“The Dragons have got a lot of good youngsters there and you’ve got to stick with them.”

On being asked if the Dragons needed to bring in an overseas player, Jenkins replied: “Unless you are struggling in a position, I don’t see why you need to.

“I think you look to see what’s in Wales.

“I think there’s an awful lot of talent in Wales sitting on the sidelines.

“There’s no substitute for playing and I don’t see why with Lewis and Steffan there (they would need to look outside) – they’ve already got two quality players.”

Comments (7)

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11:20am Wed 16 May 12

b3talover says...

"Neil Jenkins urges the Newport Gwent Dragons not to sign an overseas outside half because he believes..."
that if they do they will actually become competitive and beat his favourite region into third place?
"Neil Jenkins urges the Newport Gwent Dragons not to sign an overseas outside half because he believes..." that if they do they will actually become competitive and beat his favourite region into third place? b3talover

1:44pm Wed 16 May 12

newport2012 says...

Agree Jenkins s comments are admirable but the two younsters need an experienced 10 to learn from. The dragons cannot go into next season with 2 young developing 10's expecting them to deliver on a weekly basis. New experienced signing is needed before next season!!
Agree Jenkins s comments are admirable but the two younsters need an experienced 10 to learn from. The dragons cannot go into next season with 2 young developing 10's expecting them to deliver on a weekly basis. New experienced signing is needed before next season!! newport2012

2:21pm Wed 16 May 12

dragonsaregwentside says...

Does Neil Jenkins think the Dragons are just a development region?
Does Neil Jenkins think the Dragons are just a development region? dragonsaregwentside

3:22pm Wed 16 May 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

Both players are very good prospects for the future yes, but they need much more mentoring so an experience no 10 is a very important need as are some good front rowers and another second row with some grunt and speed. We are not too bad at the back but possibly a bit more experience there won't go amiss. As for Jenkins' comments how much of that is accurately reported by the media and is it all he said on the subject I wonder.
Both players are very good prospects for the future yes, but they need much more mentoring so an experience no 10 is a very important need as are some good front rowers and another second row with some grunt and speed. We are not too bad at the back but possibly a bit more experience there won't go amiss. As for Jenkins' comments how much of that is accurately reported by the media and is it all he said on the subject I wonder. Robert Shillabeer

12:45pm Fri 18 May 12

Jouse Prowse says...

Stefan Jones would be better off staying at Crosskeys. He'd learn far more with them in one month than he would learn from the Dragons in the rest of his career!
Stefan Jones would be better off staying at Crosskeys. He'd learn far more with them in one month than he would learn from the Dragons in the rest of his career! Jouse Prowse

6:20pm Fri 18 May 12

phantom14 says...

What a dull comment, playing against better opposition will make him a better player the gulf between premiership and rabo is massive!! I have supported Cross Keys this year.
What a dull comment, playing against better opposition will make him a better player the gulf between premiership and rabo is massive!! I have supported Cross Keys this year. phantom14

12:11am Wed 23 May 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

Agree playing better opposition will lead to him being better than he is at the moment but I am disappointed that the Dragons aren't getting a more experience player to guide the youngsters forward. This may be for the better but it will be a concern, hope it works out. We need other positions so perhaps there is more scope there?
Agree playing better opposition will lead to him being better than he is at the moment but I am disappointed that the Dragons aren't getting a more experience player to guide the youngsters forward. This may be for the better but it will be a concern, hope it works out. We need other positions so perhaps there is more scope there? Robert Shillabeer

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