Edwards' big incentive for Gwent Select players

DRAGONS COACH: Darren Edwards

DRAGONS COACH: Darren Edwards

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

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons coach Darren Edwards is offering the Gwent Select players a huge incentive – impress me today and you have a chance of securing a professional contract.

The Dragons – who give debuts to new signings like Wales internationals Tom Prydie and Dan Evans – face many of the cream of Gwent’s Premiership crop who form the 25-man squad doing battle with them at Rodney Parade.

Talented players like Gerwyn Price will be keen to show what they can do this afternoon, the highly rated Cross Keys hooker failing to secure a contract after training with the Dragons this summer.

The semi-professional operators from Keys, Newport and Bedwas who make up the Gwent Select side will know a number of ex-Premiership players have made it with the Dragons.

Dragons outside-half Steffan Jones, wing Mike Poole and back rowers Jevon Groves and Andrew Coombs – who start today – were in a similar position to them not so long ago.

And Newport’s Hywel Stoddart – brother of Wales full back Morgan – is the latest to make that big step up to regional rugby after the back rower signed professional terms with the Dragons on a one-year deal.

In these very uncertain and difficult economic times with budgets tight for all four Welsh regions, it has become a necessity to look at young local talent.

And Edwards stressed how significant today’s match could be.

“It’s a very important day for us, playing against a very strong Gwent Select team and there’s a number of players we are interested in as a region to see if they have a future in professional rugby,” he said.

“We brought in 12 Premiership players over the summer to train on a permanent basis over a nine-week period so we’ve put in a lot of investment into them over that time.

“This weekend will be a great talent identification process for us and I’m hoping these guys really step up to the mark.”

Former Wales A scrum half Edwards added: “We are operating with a small squad this season. That’s fine, that’s a decision that has been made so that we can operate within the constraints of our budget.

“But it’s important we look outside of that at a number of players who can step in if need be and the best place for us to look and where we should be looking is our region.

“Every one of those players on that team-sheet (this weekend), they’ve all got the opportunity to play and particularly when we come around to the LV= Cup time of the year I’ll be going back to see who is in form.

“Over the last season, 15 of my first team squad have come through the Premiership and I think that’s something to be commended.

“These Premiership teams is where the hard work has been put in by the coaches and the players.

“Having 15 players from the Gwent region in a squad of 38 is something to be proud of.”

Edwards added: “If somebody stands out this weekend, we’ll certainly be watching them throughout the season.

“We are operating on a small squad, but injuries or form on their part, may dictate this – any standout player in our region, we should be the first people to approach the player.”

Dragons team: D Evans, T Prydie, A Hughes, P Leach, M Poole, S Jones, J Evans, A Coundley, H Gustafson, D Way, I Nimmo, A Coombs (capt), J Groves, D Waters, T Brown. Replacements: S Parry, N Williams, T Ryan, J Tyler, H Stoddart, I Jones, W Evans, L Robling, J Dixon, A Tuilagi.

Gwent Select team: G O’Driscoll, K Baller, A Awcock, R Wardle, E Frewen, R Powell, R Downes, R Cornock, G Price, K Gaye, D Hodge, C Lodge, P Sargent, R Nash (capt), J Thomas. Replacements: R Hutchinson, A Lott, M Jones, K Maiden, C Attwell, A Powell, A Quick, D Gunter, A Davies, M John.

Comments (6)

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7:50am Sun 5 Aug 12

mep says...

After that shambles today what now Mr Edwards!!!
After that shambles today what now Mr Edwards!!! mep
  • Score: 0

9:19am Sun 5 Aug 12

rhinestine says...

Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv?

There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it.

RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell.....

That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops!
Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv? There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it. RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell..... That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops! rhinestine
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Sun 5 Aug 12

number12 says...

rhinestine wrote:
Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv?

There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it.

RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell.....

That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops!
I've got to say this comment did make me laugh because its all 100% true, you've got it right to a T, you've sussed them all out. Less time in Nando's and more time training I say.
[quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv? There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it. RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell..... That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops![/p][/quote]I've got to say this comment did make me laugh because its all 100% true, you've got it right to a T, you've sussed them all out. Less time in Nando's and more time training I say. number12
  • Score: 0

7:26am Mon 6 Aug 12

rhinestine says...

number12 wrote:
rhinestine wrote:
Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv?

There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it.

RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell.....

That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops!
I've got to say this comment did make me laugh because its all 100% true, you've got it right to a T, you've sussed them all out. Less time in Nando's and more time training I say.
Thanks! It is true, that's all they do? Pathetic really, not to mention they all seem to love themselves! Lol

Glad to see you used an extract from my comment on the other story, saves me commenting on it! Lol
[quote][p][bold]number12[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv? There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it. RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell..... That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops![/p][/quote]I've got to say this comment did make me laugh because its all 100% true, you've got it right to a T, you've sussed them all out. Less time in Nando's and more time training I say.[/p][/quote]Thanks! It is true, that's all they do? Pathetic really, not to mention they all seem to love themselves! Lol Glad to see you used an extract from my comment on the other story, saves me commenting on it! Lol rhinestine
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Tue 7 Aug 12

number12 says...

rhinestine wrote:
number12 wrote:
rhinestine wrote:
Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv?

There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it.

RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell.....

That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops!
I've got to say this comment did make me laugh because its all 100% true, you've got it right to a T, you've sussed them all out. Less time in Nando's and more time training I say.
Thanks! It is true, that's all they do? Pathetic really, not to mention they all seem to love themselves! Lol

Glad to see you used an extract from my comment on the other story, saves me commenting on it! Lol
Well you're gonna get that in life everywhere you go which is some people that love themselves, yeah some of the players do love themselves but not them all!

It wasn't an extract from your comment though really, its just the truth, and the truth is they are always in Nando's.
[quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]number12[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: Can I have a contract please? Something needs to be done, how can they loose to a gwent xv? There is a lack of desire from the players, I follow them on twitter, they are always on the beers and off on little jolly hold by the seem of it. RATHER than pushing tyres around and practicing with rubber rings, get them hill running p and playing touch rugby, mixed in with a few sessions with the 22 reg lads at crickhowell..... That will get them focused, rather than sitting in nandos and coffee shops![/p][/quote]I've got to say this comment did make me laugh because its all 100% true, you've got it right to a T, you've sussed them all out. Less time in Nando's and more time training I say.[/p][/quote]Thanks! It is true, that's all they do? Pathetic really, not to mention they all seem to love themselves! Lol Glad to see you used an extract from my comment on the other story, saves me commenting on it! Lol[/p][/quote]Well you're gonna get that in life everywhere you go which is some people that love themselves, yeah some of the players do love themselves but not them all! It wasn't an extract from your comment though really, its just the truth, and the truth is they are always in Nando's. number12
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Sun 12 Aug 12

Nptsportsfan says...

After yesterdays great performance from the County players away at one of the Title favourites, perhaps they should take a leaf out of their book.
After yesterdays great performance from the County players away at one of the Title favourites, perhaps they should take a leaf out of their book. Nptsportsfan
  • Score: 0

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