Dragons shake-up has breathed life into head coach Darren Edwards
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons head coach Darren Edwards says he isn't bitter about no longer calling the shots at Rodney Parade.
A woeful 2012/13 campaign prompted a shake-up of the management team with the 39-year-old retaining his job title but effectively moving down the pecking order.
Lyn Jones was appointed as direct of rugby and will work alongside Edwards and Kingsley Jones, who has been brought in as forwards coach.
Edwards is now a right-hand man but insists he has been invigorated by the change in role.
"It's just what happens in professional sport," said Edwards. "It wasn't a successful season so it was inevitable that changes would be made.
"Management groups change, just like teams do. I believe it's happened for positive reasons and I'm looking forward to the season.
"It's something that you've got to embrace in this sport and I've really enjoyed working this summer.
"It's been stimulating, exciting and I feel recharged. I've spending more and more time on the coaching side of things and it's been really refreshing in that aspect – I'm a coach and don't intend to take my boots off for a long time.
"The summer has reaffirmed where I want to be, I want to be the best coach I can and want to keep developing."
The change hasn't been limited to the coaching staff, the Dragons' squad has been bolstered by the signings of hooker Rhys Thomas, prop Francisco Chaparro, back row Netani Talei, scrum-half Richie Rees and fly-halves Jason Tovey and Kris Burton.
With Wales internationals Toby Faletau and Andrew Coombs also penning long-term deals and a raft of Under-20s benefitting from a campaign under their belts, there is an air of optimism at Rodney Parade.
"After all the changes we have to work through in stages and take it step by step as the season goes on," said Edwards.
"It's good to see the guys through another pre-season and how they've responded to all that's gone on. They've all worked very hard.
"After losing some experienced players over the last couple of seasons we have had to bring our young players through.
"They are into double figures in RaboDirect Pro12 games now and are experienced young players.
"They still have lots to learn but there is some real talent here and the guys that have come into the squad have definitely added value.
"As a coaching team we aim to cover all angles and give the players the best service possible. Hopefully that will be reflected on the field."