Lee Byrne linked with move to Dragons
10:02pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in Sport
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have been linked with a shock move for Wales and Lions full-back Lee Byrne, writes Chris Kirwan.
French newspaper Midi Olympique reported yesterday that the 33-year-old from Bridgend could head to Rodney Parade from European heavyweights Clermont Auvergne.
He is out of contract in the summer and it has been speculated that he will turn down offers from Bordeaux-Begles and Castres to return to Wales.
Byrne’s quality is not in doubt and he played under Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones at the Ospreys.
However, the region’s priority would appear to be signing some experience in the front five and they currently have three full-backs on their books.
Hallam Amos, Dan Evans and Tom Prydie have all been capped by Wales while fly-half Jason Tovey can also cover the position and Cross Keys' Wales sevens international Rhys Jones featured at 15 in the LV= Cup.
Nonethess, if Byrne was keen to come to the Dragons and a deal could be worked out then it would be an impressive signing.
The left-footer has been a huge success at the Stade Marcel Michelin since signing from the Ospreys in 2011 but his exploits in the Top 14 have not led to him becoming a key figure on the international stage.
Byrne won the last of his 46 caps against Fiji in the 2011 World Cup and was an unused member of last season’s Six Nations squad.
Warren Gatland has stuck with his triumvirate of Leigh Halfpenny, George North and Alex Cuthbert while Liam Williams and Amos featured in the back three this autumn.
Meanwhile, scrum-half Mike Phillips has signed a deal to join up with Wales teammates Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts at Racing Metro.
The 31-year-old has joined the big-spending Parisians after he was sacked by Bayonne following accusations of that he turned up to training under the influence of drink.
Phillips, who headed over the Channel from the Ospreys in 2011, was suspended by the Top 14 outfit last season following a late night out.
However, the 80-times capped scrum-half will remain in France after penning a contract with Racing Metro, who are having an underwhelming season after splashing the cash in the summer.
They sit in eighth place and will look to press on in the second half of the season given that they boast the likes of Lydiate, Roberts, Jonny Sexton, Brian Mujati, Soane Tonga’uiha, Benjamin Fall and Juan Martin Hernandez in their ranks.
Phillips will fight for the number 9 jersey with France international Maxime Machenaud.
Comments are closed on this article.