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  • "I watch Risca RFC on weekends at all levels 1st's 2nd's & Youth. Membership of club is about £30. Watch Dragon's occasionally (if i get free ticket) Can't believe people pay what they do to watch this rugby when enjoyment levels at ordinary club level can be just as good. Newport people get better value watching Pill or HSOB'S. There's just no 'Emphathy' for the region anywhere in Newport or Gwent."
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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 yourdragons.co.uk 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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