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Dragons Investing in the Future

11/01/2022

Dragons are pleased to confirm a number of key appointments within the Dragons Academy set-up.

The region has taken the next step in the creation a high-quality Academy structure with the recruitment of staff that will support, nurture, and educate the next generation of talent for the Dragons.

As part of the long-term plan for Dragons, the growth of the Academy is a key area of focus to bring future success to the region.

Former Dragons Assistant Coach, David Rees, is overseeing the ongoing work after re-joining the region as our new Head of Academy.

Dean Ryan, Director of Dragons Rugby, said: “It’s important that we invest in our future and continue to develop our Academy as we strive to develop the best talent for our region.

“The continued growth of the region will be underpinned by prospering youngsters coming through our Academy system.”

Inside the Dragons Academy:

The Dragons Academy comprises of three tiers - Senior Academy, Transition & Development Academy – and works to meticulously cultivate individuals’ skills, develop strong and rounded personalities and open up a clear and defined pathway to the peak of professional rugby.

Former Dragons Assistant Coach David Rees has re-joined the region as Head of Academy and will oversee the enormous amount of planning, preparation and care invested in ensuring this progressive operation functions so smoothly and prosperously. Rees will be responsible for establishing the Academy’s culture in line with those of the senior side and, alongside his fellow coaches, a strong desire and passion to keep Dragons at the forefront of developing young talent.

Former Dragons player and coach Shaun Connor and former Scarlets Number Eight Jack Condy have joined the coaching team, alongside current coaching staff of Matt O’Brien and Sam Hobbs. They will all be a key driver in the Professional Development phase of Dragons Academy, the final leg on the journey for players making the transition from age grade rugby into the professional ranks.

Strength and Conditioning coaches Radu Basalau and Ellis Brindley have both the region with an onus on ensuring each player is supported individually and are comfortable with their environment and its demands. The aim of the Strength and Conditioning department is to oversee physical and psychological development. It’s not just a case of working with the boys in the gym to help their physical development, but their nutrition and how to teach the players how to make the right choices and develop a performance mindset.

Newly appointed Pathway Manager Lewis Roberts is charged with overseeing a fluid coaching programme, where coaches and phase leads are bound together in a tight-knit cohort to ensure seamless movement for players through the Academy, and Roberts will be one of the key members in instilling the Academy’s overarching coaching philosophy.

Backroom team members Nia Morgans (Sports Therapist) and Ryan Humphreys Thomas (Academy Performance Analyst) complete the Academy set-up. For the full Academy set-up click HERE

The continued growth of the region will be underpinned by prospering youngsters coming through our Academy system...
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