Lyn Jones: Dragons may not replace backs coach Darren Edwards

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons could turn to consultant coaches to pick up the slack with the backs rather than opting for a like-for-like replacement for Darren Edwards.

After five seasons at Rodney Parade the former head coach left his role before the RaboDirect Pro12 encounter with Ulster at the end of last month.

Edwards, who was out of contract at the end of the season and is poised to take up a job with an Aviva Premiership club, had been in charge of the three-quarters.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones, who enjoyed a spell as the region's attack coach in 2009, has taken over that responsibility ahead of Sunday's home clash with Connacht and says the Dragons may opt against adding another permanent member of staff to the roster.

"We are not sure just yet what will happen but I don't want to put a model in that doesn't fit around the personalities that we already have here at the region," he said.

"Myself and Kingsley (Jones, assistant) are hugely experienced coaches and nothing can happen in rugby that we haven't been through already.

"We are not experts in every field but we can hire in expertise to help our weaknesses as the season goes on.

"We are not sure which way to structure it for next season to be honest, whether I stay on the training field or off it. That's an ongoing process and there are some things that you just need to take your time on."

The Dragons have been using London Scottish head coach James Buckland as a consultant for their set piece and could do the same with the backs.

"I did it at London Welsh and it worked a treat," said Jones, who received coaching assistance from former Wasps and Sale coach Tony Hanks at the Kassam Stadium.

"It's about hiring expertise on a consultancy basis. I think it's a good model and also saves the business high costs, everybody just needs to work a little bit harder."

The Dragons will also benefit from the experience of seasoned campaigners Lee Byrne, Aled Brew and Boris Stankovich next season when they arrive from Clermont Auvergne, Biarritz and Leicester respectively.

Jones said: "Successful sides are empowered. That comes with trust and knowledge and one thing we will be doing next year is taking the average age up.

"I want to create a changing room that understands what being a champion is for all those young players to come in and learn very quickly."

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