Newport's Stoddart earns deal with the Dragons

BIG CHANCE: Hywel Stoddart

BIG CHANCE: Hywel Stoddart

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

BACK row forward Hywel Stoddart has earned a full-time contract with Newport Gwent Dragons.

The 26-year-old has penned a one-year deal with the region after impressing in pre-season training.

Stoddart, younger brother of Scarlets and Wales full-back Morgan, has been released from his semi-professional contract with Newport so that he can become a fully-fledged Dragon.

Last season was his first with the Black and Ambers and his efforts earned a regional debut in the RaboDirect Pro12 win in Edinburgh the week after he was an unused replacement in the home victory against the Blues.

Newport chiefly deployed Stoddart as a number eight but it is likely that he will be a blindside with the Dragons, playing a Dan Lydiate-like destroyer role.

“Hywel is a robust ball-carrying forward who has real physicality and makes a big impact in the collisions,” said director of rugby Robert Beale.

“He caught the eye last year but the coaches felt that to take that next step he needed to be in full-time conditioning and I am grateful to Newport for letting him do that. You see talented players week in, week out in the Premiership but the regional environment is totally different and Hywel has already shown that he can thrive in it.

“He has certainly impressed in pre-season and has earned that contract through hard work.”

Beale revealed that it was Stod-dart’s performances in training that dissuaded the Dragons coaches from recruiting outside.

“We’ve made a conscious decision to run with three frontline second rows and are looking for (back row forwards) Andrew Coombs and Jevon Groves to provide cover there,” said Beale.

“We talked about the possibility of recruiting a lock but felt that beefing up our back row was a priority with Dan and Toby (Faletau) sure to be leaving us for international duty.

“If it wasn’t Hywel then it would have been someone else coming in but his efforts in pre-season meant that we didn’t even consider looking elsewhere.

“He is work in progress, and I am sure he would be the first to admit that. But everything is on a level playing field here and he will be vying for selection in that first game along with everyone else. It’s up to him now to earn a contract extension by continuing to impress in training and when given a chance on the pitch, but he certainly has the hunger to succeed.”

Stoddart will be vying for back row berths with Lydiate, Faletau, Coombs, Groves, Lewis Evans, Darren Waters, Tom Brown and Wales Under-20s starlet Ieuan Jones.

Comments (9)

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12:14pm Fri 13 Jul 12

J13 says...

Good to see the Dragons continuing to brn through Premership talent. I for one have realyenjoyed seening players like Andy Coombes, Richard Fussell, Lloyd Burns and others come through to be really good Regional and even Wales players. This approch, together with a strong youth development process are the only way the Dragons, and the other Welsh regions can survive.
Good to see the Dragons continuing to brn through Premership talent. I for one have realyenjoyed seening players like Andy Coombes, Richard Fussell, Lloyd Burns and others come through to be really good Regional and even Wales players. This approch, together with a strong youth development process are the only way the Dragons, and the other Welsh regions can survive. J13
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Fri 13 Jul 12

high x boy says...

local players playing for welsh regins.that should of been the plan from the begining though anyway
local players playing for welsh regins.that should of been the plan from the begining though anyway high x boy
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Fri 13 Jul 12

high x boy says...

local players playing for welsh regions.that should of been the plan from the beginning I though anyway.
local players playing for welsh regions.that should of been the plan from the beginning I though anyway. high x boy
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Fri 13 Jul 12

corpardguy says...

It was and IS the plan. What other one could there be to ensure a constant flow of talent for the Wales team?
In spite of all the 'vitriol' emenating from the local valleys (about not being a regional side), NGD have always been at the forefront of promoting from the region. Mostly because of finances, its one of the reasons we are where we are! The Scarlets are the next best for local lads and then Blues and Ospreys do ok in this, but usually buy or 'steal' proven talent from other regions and the rest of the planet.
It was and IS the plan. What other one could there be to ensure a constant flow of talent for the Wales team? In spite of all the 'vitriol' emenating from the local valleys (about not being a regional side), NGD have always been at the forefront of promoting from the region. Mostly because of finances, its one of the reasons we are where we are! The Scarlets are the next best for local lads and then Blues and Ospreys do ok in this, but usually buy or 'steal' proven talent from other regions and the rest of the planet. corpardguy
  • Score: 0

7:49am Sat 14 Jul 12

East Newport Dave says...

I'm feeling reasonably positive about the coming season but have nagging worries re front five and Mr Edwards. I'll be home this winter so it's season ticket decision time. I'm inclined to take a punt. The pricing looks ok. Does anyone know if the early bird has come to an end?
I'm feeling reasonably positive about the coming season but have nagging worries re front five and Mr Edwards. I'll be home this winter so it's season ticket decision time. I'm inclined to take a punt. The pricing looks ok. Does anyone know if the early bird has come to an end? East Newport Dave
  • Score: 0

9:51am Sat 14 Jul 12

Mr Stuart Parry says...

Yet another player poached from the First team to the regional development squad for Wales. Easy prediction to make with this one though. Mr Stoddart, if he gets the chance and does well will soon be back with Scarlets or another club quoting "I had to go where my heart/money is". Sad really
Yet another player poached from the First team to the regional development squad for Wales. Easy prediction to make with this one though. Mr Stoddart, if he gets the chance and does well will soon be back with Scarlets or another club quoting "I had to go where my heart/money is". Sad really Mr Stuart Parry
  • Score: 0

11:41am Sat 14 Jul 12

Dai the Milk says...

Mr Stuart Parry wrote:
Yet another player poached from the First team to the regional development squad for Wales. Easy prediction to make with this one though. Mr Stoddart, if he gets the chance and does well will soon be back with Scarlets or another club quoting "I had to go where my heart/money is". Sad really
Don't you mean from Newport Second team to the Firsts?
[quote][p][bold]Mr Stuart Parry[/bold] wrote: Yet another player poached from the First team to the regional development squad for Wales. Easy prediction to make with this one though. Mr Stoddart, if he gets the chance and does well will soon be back with Scarlets or another club quoting "I had to go where my heart/money is". Sad really[/p][/quote]Don't you mean from Newport Second team to the Firsts? Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sat 14 Jul 12

Cwmsteve says...

Mr Stuart Parry wrote:
Yet another player poached from the First team to the regional development squad for Wales. Easy prediction to make with this one though. Mr Stoddart, if he gets the chance and does well will soon be back with Scarlets or another club quoting "I had to go where my heart/money is". Sad really
It's all about progression and it takes a lot to give up full time employment for a 1 year contract. I wish him well and all those others who a lucky enough to get the opportunity.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Stuart Parry[/bold] wrote: Yet another player poached from the First team to the regional development squad for Wales. Easy prediction to make with this one though. Mr Stoddart, if he gets the chance and does well will soon be back with Scarlets or another club quoting "I had to go where my heart/money is". Sad really[/p][/quote]It's all about progression and it takes a lot to give up full time employment for a 1 year contract. I wish him well and all those others who a lucky enough to get the opportunity. Cwmsteve
  • Score: 0

7:07pm Sat 14 Jul 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

Players play rugby because they enjoy it in the first place. They then become either good at it or give up. Those who make it want to go on and play professionally and you can't blame them for that. I hope all those who choose to go professional can make the grade but give the coaches some credit, they have a good idea who can and won't waste time and money on those who can't.
Players play rugby because they enjoy it in the first place. They then become either good at it or give up. Those who make it want to go on and play professionally and you can't blame them for that. I hope all those who choose to go professional can make the grade but give the coaches some credit, they have a good idea who can and won't waste time and money on those who can't. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

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