Dragons set to be boosted by Coombs and propping pair against Glasgow

Free Press Series: Wales's Andrew Coombs is tackled by Ireland's Conor Murray during the RBS 6 Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 8, 2014. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should rea Wales's Andrew Coombs is tackled by Ireland's Conor Murray during the RBS 6 Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 8, 2014. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should rea

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons captain Andrew Coombs is pencilled in to start against Glasgow on Sunday – and the Wales lock is set to be joined in the squad by a pair of new tightheads.

The Rodney Parade region are looking to solve a propping crisis by bringing in Bruce Douglas and Lewis Thiede from Bristol and London Scottish respectively.

The Dragons are without a recognised tighthead because Nathan Buck is ill, Dan Way has a back problem and Francisco Chaparro is banned until April 27 following his dismissal for a tip tackle against Leinster.

Douglas, 34, won 43 caps for Scotland and has played for Harlequins, Borders, the Scarlets, Montpellier and Worcester.

Doncaster-born Thiede, 23, had a spell with London Wasps before signing for Scottish where he has been working under head coach James Buckland, who the Dragons have been using as a scrum consultant.

"You get these emergencies every so often where you are hit by not just one injury but three medium to long-term absentees at tighthead," said director of rugby Lyn Jones.

"We've secured loans with Bristol and London Scottish but we are just waiting for confirmation from the RFU and WRU that they are able to play."

The region have their fingers crossed that the new boys will get the green light and they are also hopeful that their skipper will be in their ranks.

Coombs, who started against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium a fortnight ago, has been left out of the Wales matchday squad to take on France in the Six Nations tomorrow evening.

The 29-year-old lock is an emergency reserve at the Millennium Stadium and will start for the Dragons as long as his services are not required.

"He will be starting at five as long as he is not needed by Wales," said Jones. "It's a boost for us to have a player of Andrew's stature available.

"I thought he had a decent game against Ireland and he needs to get back on the field and put that disappointment behind him."

Meanwhile Jones has denied reports of Dragons interest in former Wales centre Gavin Henson and Ospreys fly-half Matthew Morgan.

"There is no truth in that at all. We're concentrating all our efforts on strengthening our squad in the front five department," said the director of rugby.

The Dragons have so far signed loosehead Boris Stankovich from Leicester, hooker Rhys Buckley from Moseley, wing Aled Brew from Biarritz and full-back Lee Bryne from Clermont Auvergne.

Comments (9)

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4:56pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Newport76 says...

Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!!
Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!! Newport76
  • Score: -11

6:05pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

Newport76 wrote:
Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!!
Cross Keys need their better players so it's unfair to take them away at a critical time in their league, anyway the Dragons need cover for some weeks and that would leave the Premiership sides weaker. Hope Cross Keys are able to get into a playoff position.
[quote][p][bold]Newport76[/bold] wrote: Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!![/p][/quote]Cross Keys need their better players so it's unfair to take them away at a critical time in their league, anyway the Dragons need cover for some weeks and that would leave the Premiership sides weaker. Hope Cross Keys are able to get into a playoff position. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 9

9:56pm Thu 20 Feb 14

hazellboy says...

Newport76 wrote:
Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!!
Der ! that is the problem with our props they are young and cant compete with more experienced props who peak at around 30 years old, chucking a young prop in to get battered will be of great encouragement! NOT!!
[quote][p][bold]Newport76[/bold] wrote: Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!![/p][/quote]Der ! that is the problem with our props they are young and cant compete with more experienced props who peak at around 30 years old, chucking a young prop in to get battered will be of great encouragement! NOT!! hazellboy
  • Score: 11

9:57pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Euwan Usami says...

Newport76 wrote:
Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!!
With the greatest respect to Keys there is a huge gulf from premiership to Pro12. The Dragons have lots of forwards on the books who can't cope at this level. What they need is a bit a proven ability to steady the ship.
[quote][p][bold]Newport76[/bold] wrote: Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!![/p][/quote]With the greatest respect to Keys there is a huge gulf from premiership to Pro12. The Dragons have lots of forwards on the books who can't cope at this level. What they need is a bit a proven ability to steady the ship. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 12

11:08pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Newport76 says...

hazellboy wrote:
Newport76 wrote:
Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!!
Der ! that is the problem with our props they are young and cant compete with more experienced props who peak at around 30 years old, chucking a young prop in to get battered will be of great encouragement! NOT!!
So, what exactly is the point of the Premiership then? I thought that the idea was to develop players capable of stepping up to Regional rugby, but obviously I am wrong. They can learn a lot by getting battered (as you put it). I would still rather see the Dragons develop local talent than bring in outsiders.
[quote][p][bold]hazellboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Newport76[/bold] wrote: Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!![/p][/quote]Der ! that is the problem with our props they are young and cant compete with more experienced props who peak at around 30 years old, chucking a young prop in to get battered will be of great encouragement! NOT!![/p][/quote]So, what exactly is the point of the Premiership then? I thought that the idea was to develop players capable of stepping up to Regional rugby, but obviously I am wrong. They can learn a lot by getting battered (as you put it). I would still rather see the Dragons develop local talent than bring in outsiders. Newport76
  • Score: -4

7:18am Fri 21 Feb 14

East Newport Dave says...

Newport76 wrote:
hazellboy wrote:
Newport76 wrote:
Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!!
Der ! that is the problem with our props they are young and cant compete with more experienced props who peak at around 30 years old, chucking a young prop in to get battered will be of great encouragement! NOT!!
So, what exactly is the point of the Premiership then? I thought that the idea was to develop players capable of stepping up to Regional rugby, but obviously I am wrong. They can learn a lot by getting battered (as you put it). I would still rather see the Dragons develop local talent than bring in outsiders.
Unfortunately, the broader issues are more important. The whole team cannot function with a weak scrummage. Clearly, we do not have the props who are going to come through any time soon, so at least let's get some quality possession for our backs to use and avoid the defeats such as the recent one at Leinster.
All the fashion has been to turn mobile, skillful props into good scrummagers. Why not try to take a good scrummaging prop and work on his mobility and skills?
[quote][p][bold]Newport76[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hazellboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Newport76[/bold] wrote: Well that is a good incentive to any young tight head prop in the Premiership. The Dragons haven't got any available tight heads, so what do they do, bring in two from England. What about Joe Mills from Bedwas who played in the LV Cup? What sort of encouragement is that to any aspiring young tight head in the area? The Argus is always singing the praises of the Cross Keys pack and especially the tight five - why not give a few of them a go, especially the tight head prop(s)? NO, they would rather bring in two complete outsiders!![/p][/quote]Der ! that is the problem with our props they are young and cant compete with more experienced props who peak at around 30 years old, chucking a young prop in to get battered will be of great encouragement! NOT!![/p][/quote]So, what exactly is the point of the Premiership then? I thought that the idea was to develop players capable of stepping up to Regional rugby, but obviously I am wrong. They can learn a lot by getting battered (as you put it). I would still rather see the Dragons develop local talent than bring in outsiders.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, the broader issues are more important. The whole team cannot function with a weak scrummage. Clearly, we do not have the props who are going to come through any time soon, so at least let's get some quality possession for our backs to use and avoid the defeats such as the recent one at Leinster. All the fashion has been to turn mobile, skillful props into good scrummagers. Why not try to take a good scrummaging prop and work on his mobility and skills? East Newport Dave
  • Score: 7

7:37am Fri 21 Feb 14

val d'is says...

The Crosskeys tight heads unfortunately are not young at 32 and 34 and I'm sure that they would admit that they would struggle with the pace in the rabo. If you watched the demolition of the Bedwas scrum last week against Crosskeys which resulted in the early substitution of Joe Mills you would fear for the player who was playing second row for Rumney in the first division last year.
The Crosskeys tight heads unfortunately are not young at 32 and 34 and I'm sure that they would admit that they would struggle with the pace in the rabo. If you watched the demolition of the Bedwas scrum last week against Crosskeys which resulted in the early substitution of Joe Mills you would fear for the player who was playing second row for Rumney in the first division last year. val d'is
  • Score: 4

8:02am Fri 21 Feb 14

SWBorderer says...

I'm happy with any personnel that can give us a sound platform to work from, you never know, if the loan works out it could lead to some good signings.
I'm happy with any personnel that can give us a sound platform to work from, you never know, if the loan works out it could lead to some good signings. SWBorderer
  • Score: 5

11:50am Fri 21 Feb 14

Newport76 says...

I'm just not sure of the role of the Premiership Clubs. If the Regions are never going to pick young players coming through the system then they (the Premiership Clubs) might as well go for experienced, gnarled, grisled players who are not looking to further their careers. Who needs to develop young talent, if there is no future career path up to Regions? If that is the way of things, then fine, I understand, but it is just creating further divide between the Premiership Clubs and the Regions which cannot be good for the game in Wales surely?
I'm just not sure of the role of the Premiership Clubs. If the Regions are never going to pick young players coming through the system then they (the Premiership Clubs) might as well go for experienced, gnarled, grisled players who are not looking to further their careers. Who needs to develop young talent, if there is no future career path up to Regions? If that is the way of things, then fine, I understand, but it is just creating further divide between the Premiership Clubs and the Regions which cannot be good for the game in Wales surely? [and don't call me Shirley!] Newport76
  • Score: -1

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