9:31am Tuesday 29th April 2014
EXPERIENCED fly-half Dai Flanagan heads up a quartet of Newport recruits as the Rodney Parade outfit start planning for next season, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 28-year-old will head to the Black and Ambers from double-chasing Pontypridd and the club have also snapped up a pair of Ospreys and Bridgend backs in centre Nathan Edwards and full-back Jamie Murphy while back row forward Sam Feehan arrives from Cardiff.
Flanagan, who is in charge of the Dragons' junior academy at Newport High School, has played regional rugby for Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys.
He has been one of the most consistent performers in the top flight of club rugby and was selected as fly-half in the 2012/13 Premiership dream team after finishing as top scorer.
"Dai is one of the most experienced and controlling 10s in the Premiership and is exactly what we have needed but he will also play a big role in helping bring along (Wales Under-20s fly-half) Ethan Davies," said head coach Sven Cronk.
Murphy earned a deal with the Ospreys after impressing in the Premiership with Bridgend and Aberavon. The 24-year-old has made three LV= Cup appearances for the Liberty Stadium region.
Outside centre Edwards also played three games in the Anglo-Welsh cup for the Ospreys and spent the last three seasons at the Brewery Field, scoring 12 tries in 61 appearances.
Newport coach Craig Warlow rates the pair highly after working with them while in charge of the Ravens' backs.
"Jamie is a creative runner who causes all manner of problems when he gets the ball in his hands," said Cronk. "He's predominantly a 15 but will also give us options at centre and wing.
"Nathan is a good distributor and excellent footballer who is similar to (former Newport and Dragons centre) Tom Riley in that he recognises space really well."
Feehan, 34, has made 25 appearances for Cardiff this season since heading to the Arms Park after three seasons with Bedwas. Noted by Cronk for his ball-carrying ability, his presence in the back row may mean that Sam Waldron plays more at lock next season.
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