Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Guest on Tue 20 Jun 2017, 12:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

Too early?!  Never mind.

So, big changes are afoot at Dave Parade.  There's been loads of arguments about the best way forward, the pros and cons of regional v club rugby, and I'm sure there'll be many more to come.  But what's done is done and, for now, we have a pro team at Dave Parade to support next year.  A few weeks ago even that was in jeopardy.  So moving forward...

Ownership:
So the WRU has taken over the reigns.  I'll add updates here as and when we know them, but the formal split from Newport RFC should mean 'cleaner' or more straightforward to understand revenue streams.  

Pitch:
A new one is being laid as we speak.  This original pitch has been part and parcel of the problems at RP for a number of years.  A BBC report showed it to be up there as the most used pitch pro pitch in the UK.  Something had to be done.  A fully synthetic pitch was mooted and preferred by some, a al Blues, Saracens, Glasgow, et al.  However, FA rules state that football clubs cannot play on these surfaces (probably since the AstroTurf days of Luton Town, etc.).  So it looks like a compromise has been agreed with a 4g semi-synthetic pitch, like those used by many football clubs, Swansea City/Ospreys, Millennium Stadium, Aviva Stadium, Twickenham, Murrayfield, Cardiff City stadium, etc.  A weave of synthetic fibres and real grass meaning it's easier to maintain, less prone to weather damage, but still sort of like the real thing.  This will be a real move forward and should improve the product on the field.  A bit.

Personnel:
New coach - Huw Jackman.  Comes with a good reputation for hard work and attacking rugby.  Good stuff.
Gavin Henson - I'm happy with this.  Despite his knockers, so to speak, he is still a classy club player and performed well in the English Prem with Bristol, when not injured.  Which is the crux of the issue.  Hopefully we can keep him fit for an extended run of games.
Zane Kirchner - On paper a quality player but as with a lot of good players, when they are in the twighlight of their careers and join a 'lesser' club more often than not they do not perform as expected.  Let's hope he is an exception to the rule.  Did Jackman and Kirchner play together at Leinster?


Transfers In:

Bernard 'No Pudding' Jackman - coach
Gavin Henson
Zane Kirchner

Transfers Out:
Shaun Knight
Nick Crosswell
Tom Prydie
Geraint Rhys Jones
Darren Harris
Craig Mitchell


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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 12:42 am

I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 8:17 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

Blues have put the first bid in for him but I think he'll go to the Ospreys. I don't think we need North - it's more forwards we need.

I just hope we don't end up with Francis.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 8:49 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

It's idiocy, the only way we are going to improve is by depth and depth in the front five in particular. Not by adding players who are in attritional positions and/or need their game time managed. And that's before you consider they will be away for large chunks of he season and one at least is worse than our current players given the game plan the coach states he wants the backs to operate. You do this Mikey, you arbitrarily decide a player is 'good' regardless of context or evidence. Even 60% of international salaries would be better spent on front five quality available all year round who would allow the home grown players we have with potential to make the step up to international level and certainly help us to mug teams in the international windows, which is what we should be set up to do.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 8:51 am

munkian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

Blues have put the first bid in for him but I think he'll go to the Ospreys. I don't think we need North - it's more forwards we need.

I just hope we don't end up with Francis.

So not just me who thinks George North dialling it in around his team Wales commitments wouldn't be a wise investment then...
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 8:58 am

Stone Motif wrote:
munkian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

Blues have put the first bid in for him but I think he'll go to the Ospreys. I don't think we need North - it's more forwards we need.

I just hope we don't end up with Francis.

So not just me who thinks George North dialling it in around his team Wales commitments wouldn't be a wise investment then...

Nope.

Plus we have lots of young Welsh backs - not an area we need to invest in.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:03 am

Great article again by Chris Kirwan, especially this section about transparency:

'So far things have been a little opaque but the Dragons are no longer an ordinary club and they need to be clear about their budget.

'They need to tell us about the boost to sponsorship, or if they have become a more efficient business, or even if Buttress is dipping into his pocket a la Martyn Hazell, Tony Brown, Peter Thomas and the Scarlets directors.

'As I said, some won't give a monkey's about gripes from the west – they will cite past 'bail outs' or a glut of dual contracts – but it's important that concerns are addressed as they risk belittling the good work being done at Rodney Parade.

'With transparency that honest graft will get the credit it deserves. A lack of transparency will only play into the hands of the conspiracy theorists.

'At the moment any credit for improvements made will not go to the ones driving it in Newport, it will just be put down to the efforts of those at Principality Stadium.'

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/columnists/15676915.CHRIS_KIRWAN__Ambitious_Dragons_ready_to_ruffle_feathers_but_transparency_remains_vital/#comments-anchor

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 12:36 pm

Leinster: J Larmour, F McFadden, R O’Loughlin, N Reid, I Nacewa (captain), R Byrne, J Gibson-Park, E Byrne, S Cronin, M Bent, R Molony, S Fardy, Josh Murphy, Jordi Murphy, M Deegan. Replacements: R Strauss, P Dooley, A Porter, I Nagle, J Conan, N McCarthy, C Marsh, C O’Brien

Dragons: A O’Brien, J Rosser, A Warren, J Dixon, A Hewitt, G Henson, S Pretorius, S Hobbs, E Shipp, L Fairbrother, J Davies, M Screech, A Wainwright, O Griffiths (captain), J Benjamin. Replacements: G Ellis, L Garrett, B Harris, R Landman, B Roach, D Babos, A Robson, C Edwards.

Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15679656.DRAGONS_TEAM_NEWS__O_Brien_stays_at_15_for_PRO14_clash_at_Leinster/

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 12:46 pm

Hmmm
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 6:05 pm

munkian wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
munkian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

Blues have put the first bid in for him but I think he'll go to the Ospreys. I don't think we need North - it's more forwards we need.

I just hope we don't end up with Francis.

So not just me who thinks George North dialling it in around his team Wales commitments wouldn't be a wise investment then...

Nope.

Plus we have lots of young Welsh backs - not an area we need to invest in.

I agree, I don't actually think we'll get North but it was fun to wind up Stone. Who even gets wound up by someone stating international players are joining the team....

Blues or Ospreys could do with North more than us, but if I was North I wouldn't go to either. He needs to improve and under the Ospreys coaching team he won't... Neither will he improve with the Blues under Sean Holley! Moriarty and Faletau coming back to us at the end of his contract is realistic and we do need more front 5 recruits. I wouldn't say no to Francis but it's best that he goes to the capital region Smile.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 6:48 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
munkian wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
munkian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I think you're the only one who doesn't want more internationals in the team, great way to improve... We're getting George North too, sorry to burst your bubble.

Blues have put the first bid in for him but I think he'll go to the Ospreys. I don't think we need North - it's more forwards we need.

I just hope we don't end up with Francis.

So not just me who thinks George North dialling it in around his team Wales commitments wouldn't be a wise investment then...

Nope.

Plus we have lots of young Welsh backs - not an area we need to invest in.

I agree, I don't actually think we'll get North but it was fun to wind up Stone. Who even gets wound up by someone stating international players are joining the team....  

Blues or Ospreys could do with North more than us, but if I was North I wouldn't go to either. He needs to improve and under the Ospreys coaching team he won't... Neither will he improve with the Blues under Sean Holley! Moriarty and Faletau coming back to us at the end of his contract is realistic and we do need more front 5 recruits. I wouldn't say no to Francis but it's best that he goes to the capital region Smile.

You didn't wind me up exactly, I just pointed out you were being thick. Which is exactly what the Drags would be by accepting a random pile of players regardless of cost or usefulness to the team.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 7:24 pm

It was thick to sign up someone like Ryan Bevington, but only a fool would consider pursuing Moriarty as being thick!

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:14 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:It was thick to sign up someone like Ryan Bevington, but only a fool would consider pursuing Moriarty as being thick!

It was thick to sign Bevington. I do like Moriarty as a player, we could do with a six/eight and could accept the rationale of needing a marquee signing. But if he comes back to Wales it is to prolong his international career, so we won't see him very often. What he'll cost we could have spent upgrading two front five forwards and that's with players available all year round. I know what I'd choose. We have the next back row cab off the rank in any case.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:16 pm

I take it in the next 3 years you'd prefer to see Brown, Amos, Morgan x 2 and Dee move on? They could be first choice for Wales by then... I know we need overseas players too, at LH, TH and 2nd row. Scarlets know the drill by signing Steve Cummins.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 10:05 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I take it in the next 3 years you'd prefer to see Brown, Amos, Morgan x 2 and Dee move on? They could be first choice for Wales by then... I know we need overseas players too, at LH, TH and 2nd row. Scarlets know the drill by signing Steve Cummins.

There's a difference between helping home grown players making the positive step up to international level and actively recruiting a disparate set of random players on the basis of them being established internationals.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 10:07 am

Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:It was thick to sign up someone like Ryan Bevington, but only a fool would consider pursuing Moriarty as being thick!

It was thick to sign Bevington.

The good thing is we haven't signed him (or Jordan Williams) yet. Unless Bristol decide they're surplus to requirements, they'll be on more money there and (presumably) playing in the Aviva, which is a better competition.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 7:05 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I take it in the next 3 years you'd prefer to see Brown, Amos, Morgan x 2 and Dee move on? They could be first choice for Wales by then... I know we need overseas players too, at LH, TH and 2nd row. Scarlets know the drill by signing Steve Cummins.

There's a difference between helping home grown players making the positive step up to international level and actively recruiting a disparate set of random players on the basis of them being established internationals.

The difference being Moriarty, Faletau, etc have already made the step-up to international rugby so having them in our team would supplement the others quite well. I really don't get your train of thought regarding this, then again there is that old George Carlin saying Very Happy.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 8:08 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I take it in the next 3 years you'd prefer to see Brown, Amos, Morgan x 2 and Dee move on? They could be first choice for Wales by then... I know we need overseas players too, at LH, TH and 2nd row. Scarlets know the drill by signing Steve Cummins.

There's a difference between helping home grown players making the positive step up to international level and actively recruiting a disparate set of random players on the basis of them being established internationals.

The difference being Moriarty, Faletau, etc have already made the step-up to international rugby so having them in our team would supplement the others quite well. I really don't get your train of thought regarding this, then again there is that old George Carlin saying Very Happy.

It's quite simple, you just need to understand simple concepts like squad depth, budgets, value for money, availability, game plan and injury. I know you struggle.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 8:17 pm

We've gone through large chunks of the season without Dee, Shanks, etc. So don't get your argument with that one either, especially as you don't have access to the budgeting reports.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 8:26 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:We've gone through large chunks of the season without Dee, Shanks, etc. So don't get your argument with that one either, especially as you don't have access to the budgeting reports.

I can quite confidently say you could get two front five players better than any of tonight's starters for the cost of 60% of Moriarty, Faletau or North. We could buy a front five for what all three will cost us. None of them would have been available this evening, during the window, when we really should be looking to mug teams. None of whom would fundamentally alter the reason we are so easy to beat, which is we have only one or two decent front line tight five players in the squad. Any two additional front five players might have meant we aren't devaluing the league rocking up to the RDS beaten before we start by commencing with the likes of Ellis Shipp at Hooker, Lloyd Fairbrother on the tight head and Joe Davies at Lock. It's simple really.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 9:59 am

What a result last night. A ball carrying six and a big crash ball winger who can't pass or kick would have made all the difference to that scoreline.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 4:11 pm

Still don't get your point.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Cardiff Dave on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 10:50 am

Underclubbed again?

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Cardiff Dave on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 10:51 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Still don't get your point.

Think cotton wool mun. By the lorry load.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Stone Motif on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 11:07 am

A far more sensible strategy both to ensure the Dragons are more competitive as well as looking after the long-term interests of the cash cow that is the international team, would be to use the Dragons to offer contracts to a bunch of time servers that can fill the glaring cracks that are emerging in the national squad over the next three to five years which we cannot fill from our own limited talent pool. We should be thinking along the lines of Vunipola, Aki, and Hughes not Bevington, North and Moriarty.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 10:06 am

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15685508.Ross_Moriarty_chooses_Dragons__Wales_ace_heading_for_Rodney_Parade_on_a_two_year_deal/

Robin Davey will be insufferable on Twitter now! Laugh

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by VinceWLB on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 10:30 am

Let's face it, you guys needed to replace Faletau, and with the unfortunate retirement of Ed Jackson, Moriarty is a great signing.

Now, you need props and locks.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 10:43 am

Absolutely.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 11:32 am

Propping and locking, the party don't stop.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 12:41 am

Brown injured, we'll need either Francis or another S15 player there for next season - unless they're thinking buy Bevington and shift 'arris back to TH.... I agree that some of next season's recruits should be 'project players' - from NZ Wink.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 10:23 am

Please tell me that's just how you've worded it and Leon Brown isn't actually injured!

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 10:46 am

Good news:

'Bernard Jackman says bolstering the Dragons' tight five is a "priority" as the head coach looks to add to the signing of Wales ace Ross Moriarty.

"We looked at what we needed on the field and I want to build a pack that is a mirror image of Gwent packs of old – big, aggressive, uncompromising packs that don't take a backward step," said the former hooker.'

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15691766.Boss_Jackman__Signings_are_close_and_bolstering_Dragons_tight_five_is_a_priority/

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by munkian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 10:49 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Please tell me that's just how you've worded it and Leon Brown isn't actually injured!

I think he just had a head knock against NZ ?

We'll find out at 11 I guess.
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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 10:53 am

It was called concussion on BBC and he was apparently released. Hope it isn't as bad as Hewitt and especially Hughes' was.


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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 10:54 am

Okay. Strange that there's nothing on the Argus website about it.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 11:00 am

I can't link it for you as BBC keeps crashing my work net, but it's on the Welsh rugby page of the BBC.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 11:03 am

And it is. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 12:05 pm

Update next week, I've just seen Dragons twitter post.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 12:06 pm

At least Sam Hobbs is back so Brok can switch back to tight head if needs be.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 12:14 pm

Indeed.

I suspect Leon would've been given at least one European game off anyway, so hopefully he is right for the derbies.

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 12:40 pm

Dragons: A O’Brien, A Hewitt, A Warren, J Dixon, J Rosser, G Henson, D Babos, B Harris, L Belcher, L Fairbrother, J Davies, M Screech, A Wainwright, O Griffiths (captain), J Benjamin. Replacements: E Shipp, G Ellis, S Hobbs, R Landman, B Roach, C Davies, A Robson, P Howard.

Ulster: C Piutau, C Gilroy, T Bowe, S McCloskey, L Ludik, C Lealiifano, P Marshall, S van der Merwe, J Andrew, R Kane, A O’Connor, K Treadwell, G Jones, S Reidy, N Timoney. Replacements: R Best, C Black, A Warwick, M Dalton, C Henry, J Cooney, P Nelson, A Trimble.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/15693921.TEAM_NEWS___Millennium__teen_Babos_to_start_for_Dragons_against_Ulster/

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 1:25 pm

Their backs. Wow.

Jackman really can't settle on a hooker mind.

Just saw Simon Thomas tweet Leon Brown has suffered a second concussion. If that's so, I wonder if that means the first wasn't really dealt with properly?

-------

http://www.606v2.com/viewtopic.forum?t=66997

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Re: Dragons Season Thread 2017/18 - New Beginnings

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