Newport Gwent Dragons travel to face a star-studded Montpellier side today in their second Challenge Cup semi-final in as many years. The Dragons have been in the news a lot this week, firstly due to news that they are looking for a new ownership deal, then because of Lyn Jones’ departure.
It’s clear the Dragons are seeking a new direction. I know the last few years have been inconsistent – disappointing, even – at the Newport region. However, I really felt the duo of Lyn Jones and Kingsley Jones had the mind-set to turn around their fortunes in the long term. The former has already been linked with the vacant Harlequins job, although nothing has been confirmed at present. Kingsley Jones will now see out the rest of this season, and looks set to take up the role full time, if he’s offered it. His post-match interview following defeat at Cardiff Arms Park went a long way to showing his dedication towards that group of players.
I always enjoy watching the Dragons play. Often labelled the underdogs, there is a tenacity in their style of play which makes them a dangerous opponent. On their day, they can beat any Pro 12 side – especially at the cauldron of Rodney Parade. With youngsters Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan set for a bright future, they will undoubtedly form the core around which the Dragons team is built over the coming seasons.
They have the ability to surprise and can cause problems for any team, and their enthusiasm for knock-out rugby saw them beat an experienced Gloucester team to reach this year’s Challenge Cup semi-final – probably their best result of the season so far.
I hope the Dragons can defy the odds tonight to reach their first European final. From there, anything could happen.