CHIEF executive Gareth Davies says Newport Gwent Dragons have “no excuses” now that they have state-of-the-art training facilities at their disposal.
The £6.8million Caerphilly County Borough Centre for Sporting Excellence on the site of the old Ystrad Mynach hospital was officially unveiled yesterday.
The Dragons will pay a five-figure rent to use the facility as their training base. The initial deal is for two years but is likely to be extended.
They have offices on site along with physio rooms, a full-size 3G rugby pitch and gym. The region’s Under-18s and Under-16s will play games in Ystrad Mynach with the grandstand able to hold just under 1,000 spectators.
The Dragons had been splitting their time between the all weather surface at Newport High School and Rodney Parade, where they used the ‘cabbage patch’, gym and analysis facilities. Now they finally have facilities to match their regional rivals.
“This brings us into the modern age in terms of everything being on one site and there are no excuses now,” said Davies.
“It’s a great opportunity for us and not only will it help the team but it is nice to engage with the community.”
Skipper Andrew Coombs hails from Nelson, two miles up the road from the new facility, and hopes the move will enable the Dragons to flourish on the pitch.
“Normally you dread coming back into pre-season but we have all got something to look forward to,” said the lock/back row.
“This is something that we have been crying out for and now that we have finally got it we have to make the most of it.
“I’d like to think that it will have a big impact on our performances because we have had so much disruption to our training previously. It’s a terrific facility.”
The development was supported by the Welsh Rugby Union and the Football Association of Wales and the 3G football pitch will be used by Cardiff City’s academy. Coleg y Cymoedd are key partners and both pitches will be open for community use.