Lee Byrne: Dragons can change Welsh pecking order

Lee Byrne: Dragons can change Welsh pecking order

Lee Byrne: Dragons can change Welsh pecking order

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons skipper Lee Byrne wants to take his side to new heights in this season's Guinness Pro12, writes Sacha Clayton.

A ninth-place finish last season meant the Dragons were the lowest ranked of the Welsh regions but confidence is high after a busy summer of recruitment.

First up for is a trip to Galway to face Connacht and Byrne, who has arrived from Clermont Auvergne, is confident that a solid pre-season has put his new side in perfect position to get out of the blocks quickly.

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And the Welsh veteran thinks the club's young stars have the ability to take the league by storm and help his side make steady progress up the table.

"Our preparation and training has been spot on and everyone has been getting on with things," he said. "I want to take this region to heights that we've never been before and I think that's possible.

"I think it's time we change things in terms of the pecking order in Wales. I'm sure with the youngsters we have this year I'm positive that we are going to show everyone what we are capable of doing.

"I've seen these boys training and they are the future of Welsh rugby. We've got people like Tyler Morgan who I think has got something about him and I think he's going to go far so we are in good shape."

The Dragons have enjoyed pre-season victories against Bristol, Lydney and English champions Northampton to head over to Ireland in fine spirits.

"The squad is starting to come together now and the games I've got under my belt I've really enjoyed," he said.

"The things that we worked on in pre-season are really starting to show now but we've got some real tests ahead.

"We've got a younger squad now and there are fewer familiar faces around the league than when I left.

"That keeps me on my toes and I'm chasing those young boys around whereas before I might have been leading. But it's good for me and it's a fresh start and I've really enjoyed it so far."

Comments (7)

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8:55am Thu 4 Sep 14

corpardguy says...

Lee is a consummate professional, a great signing and asset to the Dragons. The NGD backroom have done a superb job in the off season with the recruiting, given the obvious financial constraints, and the pre season wins can only have done the team ethos good. So all good news so far......... now all we need is a few early wins and get to Christmas with a winning record.
I don't care about cups or competitions at this stage just league position. Let the youngsters loose for the cup matches but I want all first teamers out against all Welsh opposition and league leaders.
Ddraig am Beth.
Lee is a consummate professional, a great signing and asset to the Dragons. The NGD backroom have done a superb job in the off season with the recruiting, given the obvious financial constraints, and the pre season wins can only have done the team ethos good. So all good news so far......... now all we need is a few early wins and get to Christmas with a winning record. I don't care about cups or competitions at this stage just league position. Let the youngsters loose for the cup matches but I want all first teamers out against all Welsh opposition and league leaders. Ddraig am Beth. corpardguy
  • Score: 16

10:38am Thu 4 Sep 14

broadsworddan says...

corpardguy wrote:
Lee is a consummate professional, a great signing and asset to the Dragons. The NGD backroom have done a superb job in the off season with the recruiting, given the obvious financial constraints, and the pre season wins can only have done the team ethos good. So all good news so far......... now all we need is a few early wins and get to Christmas with a winning record.
I don't care about cups or competitions at this stage just league position. Let the youngsters loose for the cup matches but I want all first teamers out against all Welsh opposition and league leaders.
Ddraig am Beth.
...byth.
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: Lee is a consummate professional, a great signing and asset to the Dragons. The NGD backroom have done a superb job in the off season with the recruiting, given the obvious financial constraints, and the pre season wins can only have done the team ethos good. So all good news so far......... now all we need is a few early wins and get to Christmas with a winning record. I don't care about cups or competitions at this stage just league position. Let the youngsters loose for the cup matches but I want all first teamers out against all Welsh opposition and league leaders. Ddraig am Beth.[/p][/quote]...byth. broadsworddan
  • Score: 4

11:02am Thu 4 Sep 14

corpardguy says...

I put y in but my spell check (English) changed it as I sent ......... tulth du bul saith, lets see if that gets through!
I put y in but my spell check (English) changed it as I sent ......... tulth du bul saith, lets see if that gets through! corpardguy
  • Score: 4

4:49pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Euwan Usami says...

corpardguy wrote:
Lee is a consummate professional, a great signing and asset to the Dragons. The NGD backroom have done a superb job in the off season with the recruiting, given the obvious financial constraints, and the pre season wins can only have done the team ethos good. So all good news so far......... now all we need is a few early wins and get to Christmas with a winning record.
I don't care about cups or competitions at this stage just league position. Let the youngsters loose for the cup matches but I want all first teamers out against all Welsh opposition and league leaders.
Ddraig am Beth.
Agree with sentiments but you've put "Dragon for what" at the end there lol. Guessing the dreaded spell sh@fter has done it's worst. ;)
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: Lee is a consummate professional, a great signing and asset to the Dragons. The NGD backroom have done a superb job in the off season with the recruiting, given the obvious financial constraints, and the pre season wins can only have done the team ethos good. So all good news so far......... now all we need is a few early wins and get to Christmas with a winning record. I don't care about cups or competitions at this stage just league position. Let the youngsters loose for the cup matches but I want all first teamers out against all Welsh opposition and league leaders. Ddraig am Beth.[/p][/quote]Agree with sentiments but you've put "Dragon for what" at the end there lol. Guessing the dreaded spell sh@fter has done it's worst. ;) Euwan Usami
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Thu 4 Sep 14

CaptainB says...

I have been at RP for over 50 years, I was about 15 when I was last as excited as I am at present. Stuart Watkins was on the wing and David Watkins at fly half.
Make it hard for visiting teams and the results will come, we could do with a home town ref as well!!!
I have been at RP for over 50 years, I was about 15 when I was last as excited as I am at present. Stuart Watkins was on the wing and David Watkins at fly half. Make it hard for visiting teams and the results will come, we could do with a home town ref as well!!! CaptainB
  • Score: 1

12:15pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Euwan Usami says...

CaptainB wrote:
I have been at RP for over 50 years, I was about 15 when I was last as excited as I am at present. Stuart Watkins was on the wing and David Watkins at fly half.
Make it hard for visiting teams and the results will come, we could do with a home town ref as well!!!
You one of the many who have moved on with ref to the name/regional set up yeah? That's encouraging for the future.
[quote][p][bold]CaptainB[/bold] wrote: I have been at RP for over 50 years, I was about 15 when I was last as excited as I am at present. Stuart Watkins was on the wing and David Watkins at fly half. Make it hard for visiting teams and the results will come, we could do with a home town ref as well!!![/p][/quote]You one of the many who have moved on with ref to the name/regional set up yeah? That's encouraging for the future. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Fri 5 Sep 14

corpardguy says...

Mentioning Stuart Watkins, what ever happened to the cross kick? Everyone does grubbers now or up and overs , I think a good cross to centre field with someone like Andy Powell and Mr Coombs galloping along with Alex in support may cause some mayhem for a retreating defense.
Just a thought.
Mentioning Stuart Watkins, what ever happened to the cross kick? Everyone does grubbers now or up and overs , I think a good cross to centre field with someone like Andy Powell and Mr Coombs galloping along with Alex in support may cause some mayhem for a retreating defense. Just a thought. corpardguy
  • Score: 1

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