Director of Dragons Rugby Dean Ryan has spoken of his desire to help unearth the ‘gems of talent’ within the region.
Ryan, who was last week confirmed in the hotseat at Dragons, believes there is a huge amount of young talent being developed in the successful Dragons Academy and across the region.
And he is keen to fully promote that pathway and is looking forward to it working in the Guinness PRO14 – a competition he believes supports future development.
“We need to look at where gems of talent sit within this region and continue to get them into the right environment and support their progress,” said Ryan.
“With that in mind, I’m really excited about working in the Guinness PRO14. It’s a very different challenge for me to the English Premiership where you are, as much as you can be, fully loaded into every game.
“You can take a much more development view of certain games in the Guinness PRO14. I think it will fit with where we need to be.
“I do think the Guinness PRO14 helps that - it supports development. It’s difficult to do that in the English Premiership because the risks are much greater every week.
“I see a lot of games when the squad changes and we have got to make sure we are getting stronger and engaging with those that we think we can develop through.
“We have a huge amount of youngsters in the region and we have to support that and make them want to continue being part of the Dragons."
Ryan has also reiterated his plans to listen to the current backroom team and staff to understand the best way forward for Dragons.
“I’m not coming in with a huge amount of ‘I’ll do this,” he said. “I don’t think this is a quick fix, sharp turnaround and just change people.
“I’ve got to understand how this place recruits, understand the clubs that we work with and make sure we maximise those relationships to get youngsters coming through.
“In the English Premiership you have to turn things around quickly, but when I looked at Dragons the first thing I knew was that I needed to ask questions. I will arrive at what the direction is, but I’m not coming with it.
“I’m interested in meeting the senior players and the youngsters, because somewhere in there is the story we’ve got to create,” he added.
“This isn’t just about rugby, and it isn’t solved just by more money or anything else. It is a combination of so many things.
“There are some outstanding players here and the development part of it is probably the most exciting part.”
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There are some outstanding players here and the development part of it is probably the most exciting part...