NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have named Welsh international Lee Byrne as captain for the forthcoming season.

He takes over the role from Andrew Coombs after signing a two-year deal with the region.

Full back Byrne, who was capped by the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and went on to spend three seasons with French Top 14 club Clermont Auvergne, said: “It’s probably one of the best pieces of news that I have ever had. Throughout my rugby career I have had both highs and lows, and this for me is right up there in the highs.

“Becoming captain of the Dragons will be a massive challenge for me, but now it’s time for us to make sure that we deliver as a team. We have been given the best of everything this season, including the squad, coaches and the new training facility.

“I want to lead by example and I hope that the youngsters can learn from my attitude and the experience that I have gained through my international career and through playing in France."

Director of rugby Lyn Jones said: “Lee’s ability as a player is outstanding. He also has great leadership skills and has a lot of experience behind him.

“Andrew Coombs captained the side very well last season, but I feel that this is a season that I need apply change throughout which will also allow Andrew to focus on his international career.”