THE Dragons are on a global hunt for a new specialist defence coach but boss Dai Flanagan won’t rush the appointment for the United Rugby Championship run-in.

The Rodney Parade club have been without a specialist in that department since Simon Cross left for Old Glory DC in the summer.

With the Dragons cutting costs, the decision was made to hold fire on appointing a like-for-like replacement.

That call was brought into sharp focus when they shipped 55 points in the Boxing Day humiliation at Cardiff, when their fiercest rivals scored seven of nine tries in the first half.

A lot of their problems were down to individual rather than system errors but the Dragons, who are one from bottom of the table, have the third worst record in the URC for points conceded and are second worst for tries against.

Head coach Flanagan has already been given the green light by the board to interview for a defence coach to join his management team.

With the Dragons out of Europe and having just nine games left over four months in the URC, it’s likely that the new appointment will arrive this summer.

South Wales Argus: Dragons boss Dai Flanagan (middle) with backs coach Matt O'Brien (left) and forwards coach Luke Narraway (right)Dragons boss Dai Flanagan (middle) with backs coach Matt O'Brien (left) and forwards coach Luke Narraway (right) (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“We are searching and we are active,” said Flanangan. “We will get there and I have had multiple conversations with multiple people around the world.

“There are minimal jobs in professional rugby and the chance to come here and improve an area that we are focusing on will appeal to certain people.

“There is an opportunity to get someone in before the end of the season but it could be the summer because it’s got to be the right fit. We need the right person who can enhance and educate the rest of the coaches that are here.”

Academy and Newport RFC coach Sam Hobbs, who is currently with Wales for the Under-20s Six Nations, was brought in to help with the seniors after Cross left.

However, Flanagan is keen to get the former Dragons and Cardiff prop back to his primary role of bringing through the next generation of talent as an important link between senior academy and the first team.

“Sam does the contact and collision work with the seniors but he has a million jobs and the individual development of players like Ryan Woodman and George Young is really related to him,” said the head coach.

The Dragons are next in action at Glasgow on Saturday, February 17 on a Six Nations rest weekend.