NEWPORT Gwent Dragons skipper Andy Marinos has stressed there's no going back now and has called on the county's rugby fans to fully support the new region.

The Wales centre wants to see a big crowd at Rodney Parade for the Euro opener against Ulster on Sunday week and says everything is now in place to make Gwent the strongest region in the Principality.

Newport and the Welsh Rugby Union yesterday agreed to form a new company to run the region on a 50-50 basis, with Tony Brown underwriting it financially until 2006.

Marinos is happy with that and said: "It's pretty unanimous across the squad that everyone is delighted Tony Brown is firmly on board.

"The guys have got a huge respect for him. He's a man of integrity and has always been very enthusiastic about regeneration.

"Players who have joined the Dragons this year have realised what he has done for Newport and to have his financial stability and clout behind you is fantastic.

"We know where we are going for the next couple of years until we become financially viable.

"All the nonsense has been sorted out and we are in a position where we have got an identity and we are going to be based at Rodney Parade.

"I think it's important now that we take all the good things and all the hard lessons we learned at Newport and put them into the Dragons to make it a big success."

He added: "Obviously, from the Newport supporters' perspective, it's hugely important that we keep them on board and start filling up Rodney Parade.

"We all would have liked to go back to what Newport was in the past but we have all had to embrace the changes though it has been difficult for us.

"For lots of reasons, we couldn't go back to being the old Newport although probably, in our heart of hearts, we may have wanted to.

"We've created a new identity and we want to go forward with it. We've embraced the regional concept and it's been working for us.

"From our point of view, we've got a firm base, we've got financial stability and security and we've got a corporate identity that we can drive forward so that, in years to come, Gwent can start dominating Welsh rugby."

Marinos said it hadn't been difficult coping with the recent uncertainties surrounding administration

"All the guys have wanted to do really is just get out there and play winning rugby.

"W've tried to focus the guys and tell them 'look, hopefully, at the end of all, this we'll have a good structure, a good home base and we can build our region from there.' That's been the driving force in the squad and we have kept away from all the politics."

Marinos hopes to be fit for selection for the Ulster game and urged fans to turn out in force.

"It's a massive step for us as a region and as players," he said.

"In Europe, we're going to need all the support we can because we have a very tough pool.

"But our support has pulled us through big games in the past and we ask for everyone to come out and support us. We want to do well and hopefully start producing the brand of rugby all the players in the region can aspire to and to make them want to put on the Dragons jersey as well."