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  • "People are looking through rose coloured specs if they think changing the name to newport would bring more fans and success. Those who say they would buy a season ticket if it were newport would only replace the fans who currently come from outside who would stop going due to the name change. It is the 21st century and rugby has moved on since the amateur days of the merit table! Look at the players that have come from outside of Newport into the team! If Newport stood alone then the likes of Faletau would be free to choose another region to play for instead. The Ospreys dropped the Neath Swansea part and now it's time for the dragons to drop the Newport gwent as most of the current season ticket holders would still go (with many chanting dragons or singing stand up for the men of gwent!) and maybe more would too. Besides the next generation of supporters will only want to see the best players and won't really be interested in the historical aspects. There are far more burning issues in welsh rugby than silly 'cut my nose off to spite my face' over the name that we should be worrying about because regardless of the name with players leaving wales the standard would be dire and no one would go whatever the teams are called."
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Logo debacle won't prompt Newport Gwent Dragons name change

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons do not intend to change their name despite a can of worms being opened up by the fiasco over a new logo, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Rodney Parade region made an embarrassing climbdown yesterday, closing a web vote to choose a crest just 14 hours after it started because of negative feedback.

Over 2,250 votes were cast on but the current badge – which has been on the jersey since 2003 – will remain next season rather than any of the three prospective options.

While the attempt to engage with supporters was laudable, the "brand refresh" idea merely sparked the age-old debate over the name.

The vote fired up rival factions with some arguing for it to be just Newport and others calling for the region to be known simply as the Dragons.

Not only that, the vote wasn't exclusive to rugby supporters in the region – people could have their say even if they had never heard of Rodney Parade let alone stepped through its turnstiles.

The embarrassing episode mere served to highlight the problems facing the region – choosing a new crest featuring Newport Gwent Dragons was akin to giving the radiator a fresh lick of paint and ignoring the crack in the living room wall.

Members of the board are frustrated at the debacle and while they acknowledge the need to establish a proper direction over their identity they feel the time is wrong for that particular debate.

They believe there are more pressing matters, namely the attempts of Regional Rugby Wales, the body representing them along with the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets, to thrash out a new participation agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union.

Nor do they intend to make any hasty moves in what is, and always has been, a delicate situation.

They are keen to attract support from all over Gwent to Rodney Parade but are well aware that the majority of their season ticket holders hail from Newport.

Detailed market research about what route to go down could happen in the future, but it does not appear to be imminent.

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