Newport suffer Flanagan blow but swoop for sevens ace Cross
NEWPORT have suffered mixed fortunes in the transfer market – Dai Flanagan's move to Rodney Parade has collapsed but the Black and Ambers have snapped up Wales Sevens ace Sam Cross.
Fly-half has been a problem area for a number of seasons for Newport and they had hoped to have found a solution by snapping up Flanagan from double-winning Pontypridd.
However, the 28-year-old has accepted a job as skills coach with the Scarlets academy and is set to hang up his boots instead of heading to Rodney Parade.
The Black and Ambers are now on the lookout for a replacement to go along with fly-half options Matt O'Brien and Geraint O'Driscoll.
The news is better in the back row with Wales Sevens speedster Cross moving to Rodney Parade from Cardiff Met.
The 21-year-old from Ebbw Vale has a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and impressed in the IRB World Series last season.
He narrowly missed out on selection for the Commonwealth Games - a victim of former Dragons' back row forward Jevon Groves' return to the shortened format - but will be looking to be back in the fold in the 2014/15 opener in Australia in October.
When he is not on international duty he will be training with Newport Gwent Dragons and turning out for the Black and Ambers.
"As you'd expect from a sevens player Sam has bags of energy and is really strong at the breakdown and in attack," said head coach Sven Cronk.
"He's a number eight but hopes to play seven in the future and is comfortable at six, so will give us more options in the back row next season."
Cross and Sam Feehan, who joins from Cardiff, will replace back row forwards Lee Beach and Ross Coombs, who have moved to Neath and Bargoed respectively.
Newport have announced a quartet of away friendlies, starting with a trip to take on Swalec Championship outfit Bargoed on Saturday, August 2.
The Black and Ambers travel to play English National One side Blackheath the following week, then take on Ealing Trailfinders on their plastic pitch before rounding off with a Wednesday, August 20 trip to Glynneath.
Newport friendlies: August 2 – Bargoed (away), August 9 – Blackheath (away), August 16 – Ealing Trailfinders (away), August 20 – Glynneath (away).