THE Dragons have rebranded as a rugby club, and chairman David Buttress has said that this is central to their new identity.

Today, the Rodney Parade outfit unveiled a new logo and name - Dragons RFC - ahead of the new season.

Speaking about the changes, Buttress said that the idea of being a rugby club was central to this new identity, while also acknowledging Dragons RFC's role in representing the Gwent region.

“This is a new direction for our club, we are not losing our identity, we are evolving and growing,” he said.

“It’s about what feels true to us as people that represent the club, work for the club or come and support the club every week. That’s what has driven the evolution of our name.

“When I was growing up in Cwmbran and going to watch rugby with my grandad, whether it was Croesyceiliog or Pontypool, all those clubs in Wales have RFC in them.

“It doesn’t detract from the fact we represent a region or Gwent, that was never the point.

“We see ourselves as a club. I feel very strongly about it, and I know everyone else does here too. It speaks to our identity, it says who we are and what we represent, so adding RFC is very natural.”

Dragons RFC confirmed that their new kits would feature the black and amber of Newport, and blue as a nod to the wider Gwent and Monmouthshire region.

“We asked ourselves what we feel proud of. We’re extraordinarily proud to be based in the city of Newport,” said Buttress. “You see that with the black and amber we’ve used in the badge.

“The club should never have gone away from that sense of being in Newport and that black and amber feel.

“At the same time, it’s got to be authentic, and I didn’t want to step on anyone else’s toes because that would be wrong. We want to always be respectful to the history of others.

“The second point is the connection to Gwent and Monmouthshire. There is now Monmouthshire Blue in our kits and identity.

“Having that blue inserted into the shirt feels not only true to the players and the pathway we represent, which is the whole of Gwent rugby, but also the valleys as well as the city.

“One of the great phrases I heard when I first came here was ‘we prepare in the valleys, and we play in the city’. That rings true to me so the fact that we’ve got both elements proudly on our shirt now is something we feel good about.”