Flanagan impressed by young talent


Head Coach Dai Flanagan has praised the young talent coming through the ranks at Dragons – and believes the behaviours they are demonstrating only bodes well for the future.

Fly half Will Reed won praise for his performance in the clash with Cell C Sharks earlier this season at Rodney Parade while David Richards was a two-try hero in the recent win over Zebre Parma on home soil.

And Flanagan believes the duo are just part of a crop of young Dragons Academy products who can now push on.

“Will Reed has really impressed me. Having come from west and working with other young tens, this kid is exciting,” he said.

“He is a natural leader, although he might not realise that. When he speaks, people listen.

“Will is full of ideas but also has a lot of knowledge for a young kid. I worked with Sam Costelow and there are similarities. It's an exciting period for Welsh rugby with them coming through.

“Don't forget these kids are young and have missed a lot of rugby (because of the pandemic),” added Flanagan.

“It's important we give them exposure because they are playing well, not because they are plugging gaps.

We shouldn't be in a position of thinking 'sugar, we haven't got anyone else' before chucking a kid in. Let's let them come in when they are ready to play well.

“We feel that with certain individuals and Reedy is fighting for selection and performing well. It's important that we get it right with him this year.”

Flanagan has also praised the attitude of young players coming through the system at the club.

“I see the right behaviours needed here. For people to get top end and become good pro rugby players they need certain traits,” he said.

“We have a group of youngsters here and it is not just Will Reed, it is your Aneurin Owen, Rio Dyer. They have that here and that is what excites me.

“In other environments youngsters might have got more protected, but with the depth we’re trying to create here it allows them to finish their development.

“That means when they are ready to play, they play well, and we win more games.

“There are a group of youngsters here that do excite me.”

Will is fighting for selection and is performing well... It’s important we get him right this year...
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