Back injury forces Newport Gwent Dragons prop Ben Castle to quit

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Back injury forces Newport Gwent Dragons prop Ben Castle to quit Empty Back injury forces Newport Gwent Dragons prop Ben Castle to quit

Post by pioden gorllewin on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 08:34

Newport Dragons Dragons prop Ben Castle has been forced to retire from rugby following a back injury.

The 32-year-old New Zealander suffered the injury in the Dragons game against Leinster in September 2011.

The former Chiefs front row joined the region from French giants Toulon in 2009 and has played 34 regional games.

"I'm very sad to have finished my rugby career in this fashion. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Dragons," said Castle.

Castle's retirement comes in the same month that another Dragons front rower - captain and Hooker Tom Willis - was forced to quit the game with a hand injury.

Castle added: "My team-mates and the coaching staff here are a fantastic group of people and I will really miss being part of the setup at Rodney Parade.

"There are some really talented players here and I know that they have a great future ahead of them. I'd like to thank the supporters at Rodney Parade who are really special and wish everybody the best of luck for the future.

"I'm not going straight back to New Zealand and I will certainly be at the Dragons matches supporting the boys."

Dragons Director of Rugby Robert Beale said: "Ben's enforced retirement from the game is hugely disappointing for him as well as the Dragons.

"I'm sure everyone at the Dragons would join me in wishing Ben and his family good luck for the future."

The initial injury and premature retirement of our most experienced tight head prop has seen the Dragons relying heavily on its two young developing props as well as support from Bedwas RFC.

Looks like another player leaving the dragons next year. Think that makes it Willis,Castle, Chateris and possibly Tovey. Also rumours of Brew going to France........who are the Dragons likely to bring in to replace these players? Or do you think they will develop from within the region with the likes of Buck, Jones, Robling etc....Didn't Darren Edwards say they were already 1 million within the 3.5 millions salary cap? With these additional players leaving they should be able to offer some competitive contacts to players who are available.
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Post by bedfordwelsh on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 09:46

You never like to see a player have to retire because of injury and wish them all the best BUT on a playing front he won't be a great loss.

As for whose coming in to replace people, well I hope we try develop our own in the main rather than sign deadwood like Fussell and Manu that have been linked to us.

Would like to see us at least try and bid for Lewis Roberts but guess he will go elsewhere.

Cai Griffiths is rumoured which would be ok.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 10:39

Seems like a lot of players are retiring at 32+ through injury.

From a club perspective I wonder if these sorts of player retirments will affect them in terms of player insurance. I know the WRU fund the player insurance for the proffesional game. Will this have a long term impact on average playing squads in Wales?

I hope any excess cash isnt used to buy any top draw players. Instead I would be targeting players who are talented but getting zero gametime.
Ospreys have tones of young players coming through and so do the Scarlets. Those need to be our Targets. We dont need experience. Its like the SH sides think. If your good enough, your old enough.

Anyway I wish Ben all the best and a speedy recovery as well.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 10:46

Here are just a few of the ones I would go after:-

Tom Prydie
Sam Lewis
Stefan Watermeyer
Rory Pitman
Gareth Owen
Morgan Allen
James King
Craig Cross
(All Ospreys)

Kirby Myhill
Emyr Phillips
Kieran Murphy
Matt Gilbert
Jordan Williams
Iolo Evans
Liam Williams
Adam Warren
(All Scarlets)

Cory Allen
Luke Hamilton
Harry Robinson
(All Blues)

You probably wont get most of them but I'd be suprised if some of those didnt come with a promise of first team rugby.

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Post by pioden gorllewin on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 11:43

Bedford:
Not sure how accurate the Fussell and Manu rumours are. Didn't Fussell sign an extension to his contract last year? I can either see Manu staying at the Scarlet's or go home to NZ. Read on another thread that Spratt and Siggery are out of contract with the Irish next season, Spratt would be a useful addition to the midfield. Not sure you really you need another backrower in Siggery, but he has plenty of potential. The Scarlets are stocked up with hookers at the moment with Rees,Owens, Phillips and Myhill......Emyr Phillips is apparently one of the better hookers in the premiership...He would be a good addition
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Post by Impossible Standards on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 12:11

We have lost an entire front row! Good luck to Ben never nice for a player to be forced from the game through injury. However he was one of the higher earners and only made 34 appearances in 3 years so some cash should be available.

In terms of recruitment we have a host of young players already without hoovering up all the others from the regions. The Dragons have 11 out of the 28 man squad in the Welsh U18s and They just lost out to the Blues in the final a couple of weeks ago. The talent is coming through.

We really need some experience to guide these players. A quality TH, Lock and No.10 is a must to help bring these players on.
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Post by bedfordwelsh on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 13:08

IS,

Yeah I agree, whilst funds mean we may have to use our youth we need some guidance.

A T/Head is a must for and its a pity that Goughie isn't one of the players the Os are letting go as I would like to see him back there for his last season or two.
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Post by glamorganalun on Tue 31 Jan 2012, 22:20

Another duff Southern hemisphere player claiming insurance money following Willis, as stated by an eariler poster will this affect premiums for any team taking on 30 something players from abroad looking for a pension. I did not expenct Ben Blair back at the Blues but fair play to him he has started back playing.

I hope our teams don't waste their budgets on journey men and concentrate on home grown players more, there is evidence all the clubs but to a less extent at the Blues.

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Post by pioden gorllewin on Wed 01 Feb 2012, 09:18

Probably could do with recruiting two locks during the summer. Rob Sidoli and Adam Jones have played admirably this season, but aren’t getting any younger. Not sure if Jevon Groves is ready yet to play first team regional rugby at lock. Agree there needs to be a balance between youth and experience though. But as most posters have pointed it, those experienced players can’t be the likes of McKenzie, Aldridge, Webb etc…
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Post by Guest on Wed 01 Feb 2012, 12:56

I agree that that any overseas players need to be of better quality. However, sometimes you just don't know 'til they arrive. On the face of it Ben Castle seemed like a good import. Regular starter in the S14, wouldn't be away on interntaional duty, seemed quite a solid scrummager when I watched him on TV (for the Western Force). But here he was not so good. Same with Arlidge. Starred at last years world cup, put in a few great performances for Japan namely the one against France, but he was awful for us. There's more high profile players who've turned out to be turkeys for bigger clubs, but perhaps they've had the funds to sweep the mistakes under the carpet and replace them while still in contract. We don't have that luxury. Mistakes last at the Dragons!

The problem is that once they're here they're signed into a long term contract. It would be better if we could take players on a trial basis, but then you'd only get those desperate for a contract, i.e. the duff ones.

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Post by bedfordwelsh on Wed 01 Feb 2012, 15:35

Griff,

What about Coombes, I know he's out injured at the mo but have liked him when he's played.

With the likes of Lydiate Faletau and Evans all back rowers could Coombes be converted to lock.
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Post by Seagultaf on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 09:41

What's happened to Gutafson? He was the next great hope with lots of posters calling for him to be included in the Welsh squad.

Despite his rubbish scrumaging he was a very impressive ball carrier and probably big and strong enough to improve his scrumaging with a lot of work and a better technique.

Any Dragons supporters know what has happened to him?

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 10:04

Seagul, I think that it was ultimately his Scrummaging that did for him. The Dragons really needed a solid scrum so he fell down the pecking order as this was not his strength. He was also out for a long time with an injury. He did make a comeback against the Ospreys in the LV cup recently and against Prato in the AC. Bizarrely he's been bench cover for backrow for us too as we've been down to the bare bones!

I've heard that there are plans to convert him to hooker, but with Sam Parry recently coming though, Steve Jones still going strong, Rhys Buckley playing a lot, and Lloyd Burns our number one no.2, not to mention Willis only just retiring, it's going to be tough for him to convert and get game time.

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Post by gowales on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 10:09

He should go to England. Hes not going to further his career staying at the Dragons.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 10:29

Small props who are not strong scrummagers are even less likely to succeed in England, gowales. Not sure which Prem club would be in market for that type of player, unfortunately for him.

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Post by gowales on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 10:33

He could do a Rhys Gill for all we know. He looked crap when he was the Blues and look at him now! There are plenty of clubs in England that like ball playing props. Bath, London Irish, Quins, Sale, Gloucester (at a push). He needs to do something soon or hes never going to make it.

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