Dragons on the hunt for a centre after Pat Leach injury blow

INJURY BLOW: Pat Leach suffered a knee injury in the Dragons' win against Northampton

INJURY BLOW: Pat Leach suffered a knee injury in the Dragons' win against Northampton

First published in Sport
Last updated
by

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones will attempt to sign a centre after being left down to his last two men in midfield.

A morale-boosting 27-25 pre-season win against English champions Northampton in Ebbw Vale on Friday was marred by Pat Leach suffering a blow to his right knee.

The 29-year-old is expected to be out for six to eight weeks after getting caught in a ruck and joins Ashley Smith and Ross Wardle on the sidelines.

Smith suffered a foot injury when scoring a try against Zebre in March and is targeting an October comeback while Wardle is out until the New Year after rupturing knee ligaments in April.

It means that Jones has no option but to pair talented teenage Wales Under-20s centres Jack Dixon and Tyler Morgan together against Connacht in Saturday's Guinness Pro12 opener in Galway.

Their back-up is currently 17-year-old Barney Nightingale but Jones is reluctant to throw the Newport High School student in at the deep end despite the academy prospect showing his potential against the Saints and Bristol in pre-season.

"Midfield is an issue that I've got to deal with," said the director of rugby. "But anybody who is anybody at this time of year is accounted for.

"It's a busy time in the Currie Cup (in South Africa) and ITM Cup (in New Zealand) while anybody in the UK is either signed up or injured.

"If we've got to go into the academy that's what we will do but I'd prefer to pick up somebody experienced. We'll take a little look in the market."

Jones was delighted with his charges' efforts against the formidable Saints pack in the rain at Eugene Cross Park and admits he faces some selection headaches.

"We are improving and one of the ingredients of success is team spirit and a good culture," he said. "We've brought good people in who want to play for each other.

"Competition in the squad is going to be strong and we've got good players coming off the bench, which is something that the region has not had for a long time."

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:12am Mon 1 Sep 14

topdocker says...

When all else fails try and get Henson on loan. He wont get a look in at Bath.
When all else fails try and get Henson on loan. He wont get a look in at Bath. topdocker
  • Score: 12

9:20am Mon 1 Sep 14

Caerleonboy says...

Adam Hughes? Oh no, they released him.
Adam Hughes? Oh no, they released him. Caerleonboy
  • Score: 8

12:08pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Euwan Usami says...

Caerleonboy wrote:
Adam Hughes? Oh no, they released him.
Everyone has 20/20 hindsight don't they.

You wouldn't have Lee Byrne, Andy Powell, Boris Stankovic, not to mention the two quality SA forwards without releasing some useful players first. All about cash at the end of the day. If you have a few million your not using let LJ & Co know. :)
[quote][p][bold]Caerleonboy[/bold] wrote: Adam Hughes? Oh no, they released him.[/p][/quote]Everyone has 20/20 hindsight don't they. You wouldn't have Lee Byrne, Andy Powell, Boris Stankovic, not to mention the two quality SA forwards without releasing some useful players first. All about cash at the end of the day. If you have a few million your not using let LJ & Co know. :) Euwan Usami
  • Score: 10

12:12pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Euwan Usami says...

topdocker wrote:
When all else fails try and get Henson on loan. He wont get a look in at Bath.
They promised him game time apparently because he had a good season last year. Which it why he stayed there. I was sorry we didn't get him. We need a quality 10 option too.
[quote][p][bold]topdocker[/bold] wrote: When all else fails try and get Henson on loan. He wont get a look in at Bath.[/p][/quote]They promised him game time apparently because he had a good season last year. Which it why he stayed there. I was sorry we didn't get him. We need a quality 10 option too. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 12

1:13pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Warbles says...

Brew to centre, get Harries back on the wing!
Brew to centre, get Harries back on the wing! Warbles
  • Score: 14

6:10pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

Warbles wrote:
Brew to centre, get Harries back on the wing!
Sounds like an idea but will Wil Harries want to come back I know he's not tied to anyone yet but would he?
[quote][p][bold]Warbles[/bold] wrote: Brew to centre, get Harries back on the wing![/p][/quote]Sounds like an idea but will Wil Harries want to come back I know he's not tied to anyone yet but would he? Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 5

7:08pm Mon 1 Sep 14

newport15 says...

Robert Shillabeer wrote:
Warbles wrote:
Brew to centre, get Harries back on the wing!
Sounds like an idea but will Wil Harries want to come back I know he's not tied to anyone yet but would he?
lynn gwent jones is too stubborn to admit he was wrong and ask will to return, surely the mighty vale have a few class centres up there if you believe some of the posters on here !
[quote][p][bold]Robert Shillabeer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Warbles[/bold] wrote: Brew to centre, get Harries back on the wing![/p][/quote]Sounds like an idea but will Wil Harries want to come back I know he's not tied to anyone yet but would he?[/p][/quote]lynn gwent jones is too stubborn to admit he was wrong and ask will to return, surely the mighty vale have a few class centres up there if you believe some of the posters on here ! newport15
  • Score: -8

8:37pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Warbles says...

..... I would even consider Harries as a back-up 10 as well as wing; he's got the footwork.
..... I would even consider Harries as a back-up 10 as well as wing; he's got the footwork. Warbles
  • Score: -5

11:17am Tue 2 Sep 14

Euwan Usami says...

Ashton Hewitt is a excellent winger. U20s time served. Brew and Pewtner can play center too. For me the number 10 shirt is a bigger issue.
Ashton Hewitt is a excellent winger. U20s time served. Brew and Pewtner can play center too. For me the number 10 shirt is a bigger issue. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 3

2:14pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

Euwan Usami wrote:
Ashton Hewitt is a excellent winger. U20s time served. Brew and Pewtner can play center too. For me the number 10 shirt is a bigger issue.
True
[quote][p][bold]Euwan Usami[/bold] wrote: Ashton Hewitt is a excellent winger. U20s time served. Brew and Pewtner can play center too. For me the number 10 shirt is a bigger issue.[/p][/quote]True Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree