ANALYST Will Precious, the longest serving member of the Dragons coaching team, is to have a sabbatical to head to the World Cup with Russia.

Precious will join forces with his former boss Lyn Jones to prepare for the Bears' trip to Japan 2019 where they will lock horns with the hosts, Ireland, Scotland and Samoa.

After graduating with a sports science degree from Brunel University, the analyst started out with Jones at the Ospreys in the first season of regional rugby.

He worked with the Wales age-grade teams before heading to Rodney Parade to work for his home region.

The stalwart will now be reunited with Jones and his assistant Shaun Connor, who left his role as Dragons backs coach at the end of last season.

In the summer Simon Norris joined as head of performance analysis from Exeter Chiefs and Precious will now temporarily leave his role to work in Test rugby.

"Will has been one of the longest serving Dragons as has an opportunity to go to a World Cup," said head coach Bernard Jackman.

"Given his service to the Dragons, we have given him a sabbatical to allow him to take up an unbelievable opportunity.

"We want to be an organisation that looks after people properly, so he will have a sabbatical and come back to us post-World Cup."

The Dragons take on Russia at Bedwas' Bridge Field on Friday, November 16 (kick-off 7.30pm) in between the Bears' encounters with Namibia, in Krasnodar this Saturday, and Japan in Gloucester.