SOUTH African lock Rynard Landman has left the Dragons for French side Soyaux Angouleme on a three-month loan.

The 32-year-old has been out in the cold at Rodney Parade this season, limited to just four appearances, and has headed for the second tier of French rugby.

Landman was signed by Lyn Jones from the Cheetahs in the summer of 2014 and was previously a mainstay of the XV.

He made 25 outings in his first campaign then 30, 28 and 28 but has been behind Cory Hill, Matthew Screech, Brandon Nansen, Joe Davies and converted back row forward Lewis Evans in the pecking order this term.

That has led to the South African, who was sent for game time with Newport RFC in the Premiership at the start of the season, looking for a fresh challenge and he has penned a short-term deal in France, where he will join forces with former Dragons fly-half Dorian Jones for mid-table Angouleme.

Given that his contract expires this summer, it is unlikely that the lock will feature again for the Rodney Parade region.

Landman said: “After 93 starts in 115 appearances for the Dragons in the last four years, the time has come for me to continue my journey elsewhere for the next three months.

“My family and I would like to thank everyone that made us feel so welcome since we arrived in this beautiful rugby-loving country.

“I am grateful for the opportunity the Dragons gave me to come over and explore rugby in the northern hemisphere and furthermore for agreeing my loan to help me to pursue my rugby goals further.

“Thanks to all the awesome Dragons fans for the non-stop support through the good and bad times. Diolch yn fawr.”

South Wales Argus:

Interim head coach Ceri Jones said: “Rynard has made a big impression at the region with over a century of games during his time at Rodney Parade.

“We have agreed to this loan deal to France to allow him to explore this new opportunity. On behalf of everyone at the region, we wish Rynard well during his time with Angouleme.”

Angouleme are one place outside the play-offs after finishing just above the drop zone last season.
Jones has been a regular figure in the XV, playing in 13 of 16 games, while former England winger Tom Varndell recently left the club to rejoin Leicester.