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Strange turns down tempting Dragons approach

TOP COACH: Ebbw Vale boss Jason Strange

TOP COACH: Ebbw Vale boss Jason Strange

First published in Latest Rugby

EBBW Vale boss Jason Strange has reluctantly turned down an approach to join the Newport Gwent Dragons coaching set-up.

The former fly-half has caught the eye by leading the Steelmen to four successive titles and promotion back to the Principality Premiership.

His efforts have impressed the Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones and assistant Kingsley Jones, a former coach and captain at Eugene Cross Park respectively.

The region have been without a backs coach since Darren Edwards left in February and Strange was sounded out about a role back at Rodney Parade, where he played for Newport between 2001 and 2003.

However, the 40-year-old from Tredegar combines his post with the Steelmen with a job at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community and felt the time was wrong to make the move.

"I did speak to the Dragons but it's not quite right for me at this moment," he said. "I was flattered and I had a big decision to make.

"It was tempting because their recruitment has been excellent and they have some really exciting young players in the squad.

"But with my good job at the school and having put all that work into Ebbw Vale over the last four years (to earn promotion) it would have felt wrong to leave at this time.

"I've got aspirations to coach at the top level and I have had other approaches from English clubs. It's something that I will have to consider more in the future and I will have to take the plunge at some stage, but not quite yet."

Lyn Jones, who is currently in New Zealand watching the Junior World Championship, is poised to continue working with the backs after taking on more responsibility at the tail end of last season.

He has previously extolled the virtues of occasionally bringing in consultant coaches, a model he used at his previous job with London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership.

"Myself and Kingsley are hugely experienced coaches and nothing can happen in rugby that we haven't been through already," he said in March. "We are not experts in every field but we can hire in expertise."

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