Dragons Season Thread - 2019/20 aka Year 1 of the new 5 Year Plan

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 2:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

Because it seemingly hit his head. I understand why he did it, as they were slowing us down a fair bit and not getting penalised, but it needs to be a few more angles than the clip I have seen.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 2:13 pm

That's fair. He tends to kick it quite flat to touch, which gives players a chance of knocking it back into play if they're switched on. Even Aled Davies managed it! Wink

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 4:02 pm

He is a step above what we have had or have. I have just always laughed at the inconsistency of criticism.

He is a very calm head and to be fair, even if he does make errors he doesn't seem to dwell on them for too long.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 4:52 pm

RiscaGame wrote:He is a step above what we have had or have. I have just always laughed at the inconsistency of criticism.

He is a very calm head and to be fair, even if he does make errors he doesn't seem to dwell on them for too long.

It's a similar train of f3ckwitted thought to the one that says player x must be better just cos he's playing for a better team
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 5:51 pm

I never thought SD was that good, ever since his U20 overhype. I'd also have Owen at 10 but then shift him to 12. That would help anyone else we have that's up and coming in the 10 jersey. Too bad for Dee as well but it shouldn't keep him out for much longer. I'm worried that we won't have any players left by the time of the Bristol game though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 6:43 pm

We're linked to Joe Thomas of Tigers, formerly of Ospreys.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 10:12 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I never thought SD was that good, ever since his U20 overhype. I'd also have Owen at 10 but then shift him to 12. That would help anyone else we have that's up and coming in the 10 jersey. Too bad for Dee as well but it shouldn't keep him out for much longer. I'm worried that we won't have any players left by the time of the Bristol game though.

Don't think we have any tens coming through. Aneurin Owen will be a good footballing centre if he can put a little weight on
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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 10:14 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:We're linked to Joe Thomas of Tigers, formerly of Ospreys.

Didn't he play for us on loan or something once?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 10:23 pm

No I don't think we do have any 10's coming through right now, but I expect we will unearth one at some point in the next 3 or 4 years, so it would be good to have someone like OW there - he's also a better kicker than Davies.

I don't remember seeing Joe play for us but yes I did read we had him on loan. I'm not sure he's the type of back we want or need. There's some class players playing in England but they seem to be headed to other regions, which makes me wonder if we'll become the ones to get amateur cast-offs.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:32 am

mikey_dragon wrote:No I don't think we do have any 10's coming through right now, but I expect we will unearth one at some point in the next 3 or 4 years, so it would be good to have someone like OW there - he's also a better kicker than Davies.

I don't remember seeing Joe play for us but yes I did read we had him on loan. I'm not sure he's the type of back we want or need. There's some class players playing in England but they seem to be headed to other regions, which makes me wonder if we'll become the ones to get amateur cast-offs.

I won't mind so much as long as we're not losing Cory Hill (and to a lesser extent Moriarty) as well. With him here, and our other Test players, we're not such a bad option for players coming to Wales. We're not the graveyard of ambition we've been in the past. The derby wins helped there, too.

If we're missing out on players to the other regions and losing our own players to them, that's worrying.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:41 am

True, but that's the thing, we still haven't announced if they are staying on. Whilst I think it's important that we keep them we still need a load of other players to join.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:52 am

I'm fairly confident that Dean Ryan will recruit well - as well as he's allowed to, anyway. He'll know where to spend, and it might be that we get younger players with potential rather than established players, given the role he had with the RFU. That's not ideal necessarily, but if it means we get the players we need at a price we can afford, and therefore are able to offload all the players he doesn't want, the it's not too bad.

It's worth bearing in mind how the WRU sees us. To an extent, we are a development side, however much we might not like it.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:47 am

Be interesting to see if Dean does make cuts, Bevington for one but hopefully replaced by someone of high standard to compliment Brown. How do you define development side? Because our upcoming budget would seem to indicate otherwise.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:56 am

Ryan's referred to us being a development side himself. I don't have quotations though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 12:10 pm

In one sense, we are going through a development stage as we try to build a competitive time. When I hear the term I just think of how Connacht used to be at the start of the Celtic League. I don’t think that’s us right now.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:28 am

Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I never thought SD was that good, ever since his U20 overhype. I'd also have Owen at 10 but then shift him to 12. That would help anyone else we have that's up and coming in the 10 jersey. Too bad for Dee as well but it shouldn't keep him out for much longer. I'm worried that we won't have any players left by the time of the Bristol game though.

Don't think we have any tens coming through. Aneurin Owen will be a good footballing centre if he can put a little weight on

Hurriedly revised opinion. AO has all the skills but if he looks like that much of an undersized sack of lard up against his peers and at a reported 97kg he needs to go back to ten, lively xxx
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:14 am

Would love if we could get Owen Williams AND Nick Tompkins. With Warren at 13 that would be a good backline. Still no echoes of Dean shopping though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 7:54 pm

Blues sign U20 fly-half from Worcester. It makes me wonder if that means they aren’t going for owen williams .

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 9:01 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18213694.new-dragons-deals-livewire-williams-playmaker-lewis/
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 1:08 am

Good to see some re-signings. Seems like from the open forum tonight, we are losing Hill but keeping Moriarty. A shame we are likely to lose Hill, especially as a leader too. Should be trying to get Rowlands now.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 8:58 am

Hill to Blues? Tbh he isn’t the type of lock they should be going for, unless they’re getting another? If we lost Hill then realistically we need two new lock forwards.

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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 3:37 pm

Doesn't sound good from Buttress comments. Shame. I like Cory a lot but as mentioned above he is a very good 5/6 rather than the outright enforcer all the Welsh sides would love to have but we just don't breed.  A proper SA lock available 100% of the time would be worth more to the cause than 50% of Cory Hill, even if we had to pay the full whack. Who is out there out of contract though? And how do we compete on wages when locks are now amongst the best paid players on the field?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 3:50 pm

It is a shame about Cory. I know he's from the Blues originally, but they shipped him off to Rotherham or wherever he was playing, so you'd have hoped he'd want to stay at the region that gave him a second chance in regional rugby, and gave him the platform to get into the Wales shirt. It's not as if we're sh!t any more either.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 4:00 pm

Stone Motif wrote:A proper SA lock available 100% of the time would be worth more to the cause than 50% of Cory Hill, even if we had to pay the full whack.

This is certainly true. Surely Brok has some contacts?!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 6:00 pm

I imagine (and hope) some super rugby players are being monitored, I know JM was doing so just in case Moore, etc fell through. It must be between us and them for Rowlands.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 9:04 pm

…. Just had a thought. SA locks are becoming a bit scarce as they seem to be haemorrhaging them. It's got to the extent where Bulls brought back veteran Juandre Kruger after losing Jenkins, Snyman and de Jager. If you look at their recent U20 set-ups they seem to keep putting out 6'9" - 120kg lock forwards though. Never seen anything quite like it. The best ones all with English, French and now Japanese clubs; occasionally get a good one in Ireland too I guess.
Grobler springs to mind - disgraced himself in SA by testing positive (the unlucky one who got caught I guess), is at Dean's old club, doesn't always make the starting team. I think his contract is up. It'll be a job n 'alf to get him but that is probably the type of player you would wanna look out for.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 9:37 pm

We should have a fair bit of money freed up by the ‘38’ funding. If I’ve understood the funding correctly, Dragons would only have to pay 20% of Moriarty’s salary (assuming he’s one of the 38?). So that would be £100k of his current £500k salary. Should free up £400k for a very decent player. Or, if he has to drop down a bit to fit into the new banding then we pay even less than £100k probably.

If Hill goes, which would not be great, then that’s another £300k (guess?) freed up. Was he on an NDC? I know most are off them by now but not sure if he was ever on one? But even if he stayed he’d be in the 38 I’d imagine so might only cost us £50-60k? Again, freeing up funds.

Plus 80% of Dee and Wainwright’s salaries being covered. Leon’s too probably/potentially. Anyone else likely in the 38?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 9:52 pm

Yeah I'm lead to believe he's one of the 38. Not so sure about Wainwright, he could be but at least one back-row forward has to miss out. Dee and Leon should be in the 38. I can hear the cries of the Cardiff fans right now, whilst simultaneously crying how Lewis and Turnbull should be in the 38 Rolling Eyes.

I think that's it, but we should target some more who are in/pending 38 (possibly the two backs that I've mentioned). Also if the rumours are also true about Buttress securing some extra funding anyway then we have cash for once. I know I sound like a broken record but we really need two lock forwards so we don't have to rely on Davies and Williams. Another LH too, or extend Brok for another year, the guy is a machine.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 3:51 pm

Good news for Dragons back three on Sat, with it likely to be Hewitt, Howells and Rosser. That's not too bad, if we keep them fit for a while.

Interesting article on Hill and Moriarty feeling undervalued by the WRU, on the Argus site too. Seems like Tipuric might not be too chuffed either?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 4:33 pm

I just read that. It's right that it's discussed behind closed doors, but that inevitably leads to speculation, and you'd think the valuations must be particularly off for them to be challenging them. Either that or they're not fair - for example, if another Wales lock (not Alun Wyn) is judged to be worth more than Hill.

What's good to read is that they wouldn't be 'worth' more to the WRU if they moved regions, so that's one incentive ruled out.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 5:16 pm

Yeah, was pretty pleased to read that bit.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 5:21 pm

As the WRU are paying 80% of the wage you'd still expect them to be able to dictate who goes where though, so I wouldn't rule out political f3ckery forcing movement between regions just yet.

Can't believe Wainwright ain't one of the 38. Had a quiet period since the World Cup but he'll be a legend.
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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 5:25 pm

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18227399.wales-williams-ruled-six-nations-dragon-davies-next-line/

Potential disaster alert. Well, disasters actually as OW is starting to look a bit too snappy to be worth having on the books.
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Post by The Oracle on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 5:31 pm

There's always going to be some issues moving from a system where all these 38 had individual salary agreements and amounts, to a system where everyone is put into a few distinct salary bands. There's no way that the top band would be £500k for all of those Lions and internationals so, assuming it's lower, then Moriarty would have to come to down from his £500k Dragons salary to fit in. So I can understand why he'd be unhappy. But let's be honest, it was overinflated in the first place in order to persuade him to join the unfashionable Dragons. Wasn't he the top earner in Wales or something? Was he the best player?! Not even close.

For Hill, maybe he considers himself to be a Lion now since the geography 6 debacle but perhaps the WRU don't see him as being that level and are banding him lower?

Dunno. Not an easy task though.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 6:07 pm

If Tipuric is complaining then the WRU must not be matching his 500K offer from Bristol. Is he actually worth that? Back-row is a competitive area for this '38' and tbh the first flanker I would have signed up is Navidi. Tipuric thereafter I guess. Neither are the first to complain about their banding, so it would be interesting to know exactly what those bands are.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 6:26 pm

I remember reading Dobbin Ravey, saying Moriarty isn’t on as much as suggested, fairly recently.

Wonder if Hill sees himself as a senior player of sorts, for being in the leadership group running line outs etc? Seems a bit strange.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 8:27 pm

I always thought it was 400-450k Moriarty was on, least that's what everyone was suggesting.

Stone Motif wrote:https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18227399.wales-williams-ruled-six-nations-dragon-davies-next-line/

Potential disaster alert. Well, disasters actually as OW is starting to look a bit too snappy to be worth having on the books.

Dunno, I think it's only been last season and this season he's had a terrible time with injuries. He might take this year to get back to it and be okay then. Depending on when he returns I'd still take him, whilst clearing the rest of the gutter (probably the only good thing Jackman did).

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 8:46 pm

The 38 funding will be a bit of a double edged sword - on the one hand one region can't gazump another by waving more money under his nose. So that might be enough for some players to be dissuaded from moving regions. But on the other hand I wonder weather a player might say 'ok, I'm happy with my banding and £350k salary but I'd like to play my rugby at The blues'. Currently a player would have to get his agent to speak to the other region, they'd need an agreement, theyd need the coach to actually want them, they'd need the current contract to run out or be paid out, etc. But if the WRU holds all the cards can a player just up and move at the click of the fingers? Something tells me that yes it might be possible. And that makes me worry for keeping the likes of Moriarty and Hill.
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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 10:02 pm

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/dragons-boss-futures-ross-moriarty-17731256

Fill your boots fellas
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 7:58 pm

I read it this morning. I didn't see any questions or answers about new signings, at least I don't remember seeing it. It was just about retaining who we have. If we aren't scouring the globe for a host of new players then David Buttress isn't on the same hymn page as the realists among our fan base. Interesting that Buttress would like to be the sole owner of Dragons; anyone know his net worth? Also the article seems to contradict earlier news that he had secured extra funding from the WRU for next year.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 7:53 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/51495365 - we're called off, FYI. Cardiff are still on however, and on the same day.

Tompkins has met with all the regions, I first read that on here somewhere but now it's also reported by the BBC. It could be Scarlets he ends up at, which makes me think they might be losing a centre, but who? Blues are still keen on Cory Hill, which leaves an opening for Will Rowlands, just so Buttress knows...

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 2:26 am

To be fair, it’s right to call it off. Weather meant to be bad and it doesn’t favour us doing it, knowing they will be stronger next time (with internationals). Plus it stops the urine boiling for some Newport fans and big Phil, that they’re off and we weren’t. Best to do it now, before they travel.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 10:15 am

mikey_dragon wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/51495365 - we're called off, FYI. Cardiff are still on however, and on the same day.

Tompkins has met with all the regions, I first read that on here somewhere but now it's also reported by the BBC. It could be Scarlets he ends up at, which makes me think they might be losing a centre, but who? Blues are still keen on Cory Hill, which leaves an opening for Will Rowlands, just so Buttress knows...

I hate hearing Mulvihill talking about Cory Hill. You had him, you sold him, f*ck off!

It'll be Cory's choice, I know that; but how are we ever going to achieve anything if our best players leave?

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 10:42 am

Being sh*ttiest region is such a difficult hole to get out of.  Even if we manage to finish above others then we'd still be seen as the bottom/sh*test/worst region in the eyes of many.  It would take many years of not finishing bottom region to shake off the tag.  And so it's a difficult sell to the players.  You've basically got Cardiff and Llanelli, in all but name, and all of their rich history and success.  You've got the Ospreys and their stars and successes since the game went pro the regions were formed.  And then the Dragons with no history and no silverware.  So I can see why it might be seen as a stepping stone to the other regions.  And we're still funded the least, which doesn't help.  It's a bit of a vicious circle.


Last edited by The Oracle on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 12:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 10:50 am

I just thought Cory had bought into the Dragons. The region that gave him a second chance, and all that. And we are improving - slowly. 

It's just disappointing really. He's a talisman for us.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 11:05 am

I would be very frustrated too. We have given him everything and he won't gain by going to Cardiff. In theory playing with a better squad, but then he is currently in a forward pack littered with Team Wales members anyway so what does he gain? If Blouse made the Champions Cup frequently, then fair enough but they don't.

Apparently the two names mentioned by Buttress as potential signings were Owen Williams and Joe Thomas.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 11:38 am

I just had a look at Joe Thomas's biog on the Tigers website. 'Birthplace: Wales'. How precise!

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 11:59 am

Brilliant Rolling Eyes laughing

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 12:20 pm

The Oracle wrote:Being sh*ttiest region is such a difficult hole to get out of.  Even if we manage to finish above others then we'd still be seen as the bottom/sh*test/worst region in the eyes of many.  It would take many years of not finishing bottom region to shake off the tag.  And so it's a difficult sell to the players.  You've basically got Cardiff and Llanelli, in all but name, and all of their rich history and success.  You've got the Ospreys and their stars and successes since the game went pro the regions were formed.  And then the Dragons with no history and no silverware.  So I can see why it might be seen as a stepping stone to the other regions.  And we're still funded the least, which doesn't help.  It's a bit of a vicious circle.


Just to add, and I know this will never happen and deep down I probably think it never should happen, but I wonder whether it would be 'nice' if the regions/WRU followed the NFL draft system. Just for a couple of years. The NFL basically allows the worst team to the have first pick of the draft players (i.e. they get to pick the best), then the next worst team gets to pick them, then the next worst, etc. all the way along until the Superbowl winner who gets the last/worst pick (OK, I've probably grossly over simplified it, but it's something along those lines). So you don't always have all of the best players in the top few teams and it spreads the talent out more evenly. Of course this means that the best teams ebb and flow. But I guess it's nice for the fans of individual teams to not always be the worst or have your players taken away and replaced with worse ones. Doubt it could ever happen in Wales with the private ownership model - who's going to give up their academy players to other regions? What about if a player doesn't want to leave Scarletville or Ospreylia to move to/travel to God's own county (Gwent, obvs)? All valid questions and reasons why it wouldn't work. But it would be nice to spread around the boom and bust a bit amongst the regions. At least from a Dragons fan perspective!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 12:58 pm

Yeah I heard about Joe Thomas a couple weeks ago. That one gets a no from me.

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 14 Feb 2020, 1:22 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I just thought Cory had bought into the Dragons. The region that gave him a second chance, and all that. And we are improving - slowly. 

It's just disappointing really. He's a talisman for us.

Don't see anything in what Cory says in the Argus to suggest he feels different. I don't think this nonsense is down to the players, agents gon' agent.

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/18236059.wales-forward-hill-got-fight-starting-lock-dragons/
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