The Dragons were founded in 2003 following the regionalisation of the professional game in Wales. The Dragons region embraces all the clubs within Monmouthshire, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Newport.
Dragons RFC are one of four professional rugby outfits established by the Welsh Rugby Union in 2003, representing the South-East Wales area in Wales. Based at Rodney Parade, Newport, the Dragons lair welcomes the United Rugby Championship and European Challenge Cup competitions.
Dragons RFC are supported by headline partner, Compeed, and are proud of a youthful squad boosted by a number of Welsh international squad members.
2003-2005: The Early Years...
Dragons took part in the Celtic Cup for the first time in 2003/04 and enjoyed a successful season to claim third spot and win 16 of 22 league games played.
Under the guidance of the coaching team of Mike Ruddock and Clive Griffiths, Dragons also impressed in the region’s inaugural Heineken Cup campaign by famously taking the scalp of Stade Francais.
Ruddock was to go on to take the reins at Wales and immediately handed two Dragons international honours – Hal Luscombe and Jason Forster.
The following season saw several new faces such as Gareth Cooper, Kevin Morgan and Ceri Sweeney join – when Celtic Warriors were disbanded – while former Australian Rugby League coach Chris Anderson took over the top coaching role.
Another impressive Celtic League campaign followed as Dragons finished in fourth spot.
2005–2011: The Paul Turner era...
Harlequins Backs Coach Paul Turner was appointed in 2005 and would lead the region for the next six seasons.
Former Wales captain Colin Charvis joined ahead of the 2006/07 season and helped Dragons progress to a European Challenge Cup semi-final, where they eventually lost out to French giants ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Dragons finished seventh in the Celtic Cup in 2009/10, a season notable as the team remained unbeaten at Rodney Parade until the final game of the campaign.
2011–2017: Changing times…
Darren Edwards took over as Head Coach in February 2011 and led Dragons to a first-ever Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final, where they lost out to Gloucester.
Lyn Jones was appointed Director of Rugby in 2013, taking over a lot of on field responsibilities, and he bought with him then Russia Head Coach Kingsley Jones who would later become Head Coach at the region.
Dragons lifted the first piece of silverware in the Rodney Parade region's history when they won the Welsh leg of the Premiership 7s and then beat Sale, Gloucester and Wasps to triumph at the Twickenham Stoop in 2015.
2017–2021: A new dawn…
In March 2017, following a vote of Newport RFC shareholders, the Welsh Rugby Union agreed to take over the Dragons in its entirety, as part of a deal that also saw the WRU take ownership of the Rodney Parade ground.
2022 - current: Welcome Dragons RFC and private ownership…
Dragons Rugby officially became Dragons RFC in June 2022 to launch a new era at Rodney Parade. The club also launched a new visual identity to celebrate links to the city of Newport and the historic Rodney Parade and underline the fact that it proudly represents the whole of Gwent.
New owners for Dragons RFC and Rodney Parade were announced in September 2023, following negotiations with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). In June of 2023, following a thorough and detailed process, a Heads of Terms agreement was signed between the new consortium and the WRU. The great deal for Welsh rugby, which allows Dragons RFC to pursue a clear and long-term strategy and take full ownership of the historic Rodney Parade site, was then agreed by the WRU and the new owners.
Click HERE for the history of Rodney Parade.