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Newport backs coach Jon Bryant exits club

Campaign Series: HE'S GONE: Former Newport backs coach Jon Bryant, left, with head coach Sven Cronk, centre, and forwards boss Dai Gray earlier this season HE'S GONE: Former Newport backs coach Jon Bryant, left, with head coach Sven Cronk, centre, and forwards boss Dai Gray earlier this season

NEWPORT RFC and Jon Bryant tonight parted company due to what the club say was their former backs coach’s work commitments.

His departure from the Black and Ambers comes just days after a chaotic team performance in Saturday’s 31-20 Gwent derby defeat to neighbours Bedwas at Rodney Parade.

In a statement, the club said: “Due to an increased pressure of work, Newport RFC have agreed to terminate Jon Bryant's contract as Newport backs coach with immediate effect.

“The club wish to thank Jon – who was appointed Newport backs coach in season 2008/9 having previously coached Merthyr RFC – for his efforts and contribution to the club over the last five years and wish him every success in the future. Newport RFC hope to appoint a successor shortly.”

Many Newport fans had reacted angrily on the Argus website after the Black and Ambers’ poor loss to Bedwas, some supporters calling for head coach Sven Cronk to be dismissed.

The famous club has had a shocking last couple of seasons, by their own historic high standards, finishing in the bottom half of the Principality Premiership and being eliminated in the early rounds of the Swalec Cup.

In this campaign Newport have just three wins to their name out of ten matches, their seven defeats sees them languishing in eighth in the 12-team table despite having, on paper at least one of the strongest squads in the semi-professional game in Wales.

It remains to be seen who Newport will replace the 37-year-old Bryant with but it is understood it will be done very swiftly.

The former centre had an impressive rugby pedigree as a player and went on to win one cap for Wales as a replacement in a 54-8 victory over Romania at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground in August 2003.

A talented footballer who had once been scouted by many professional clubs, the Aberdare-born Bryant forged a successful career as a rugby pro.

He played for Pontypridd in their memorable 20-17 Principality Cup final victory over Llanelli at the Millennium Stadium in May 2002, going on to represent the Celtic Warriors and Newport Gwent Dragons before ending his playing days at the Sale Sharks.

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