COACH Luke Narraway is excited about the Dragons' up-and-coming talent but knows that elder statesmen hold the key to success at Rodney Parade.

The former England forward has joined the region permanently after coming in to be in charge of the Celtic Cup team last season.

He will assist forwards coach Mefin Davies and look to get the pack firing, with the likes of Taine Basham, Lennon Greggains, Ben Fry, Josh Reynolds, Ellis Shipp and Chris Coleman aiming to keep making progress at senior level.

Wales internationals Leon Brown and Ollie Griffiths are only 23 and 25 respectively while Harri Keddie has 60 Dragons appearances at the age of 23.

Narraway knows that the prospects need their experienced teammates to help them reach the next level.

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"You've got Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Brok Harris (pictured above), who are closer to my age than the guys they are playing with," said Narraway.

"They will be invaluable to us because we are under no illusions that although there is talent here aged 25 and under, you can't buy experience.

"Those players are invaluable in passing on what they have gone through in the game, helping those young guys come through by talking about the challenges that they will come up against.

"I have seen those guys train and work and they are really good role models for the youngsters to look up to. They are an open book and great sounding boards for advice and help on the game."

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The former number eight came in last summer to take the lead in the development competition and returned at the start of 2020 to help then forwards coach Ceri Jones.

Basham burst through to Dean Ryan's first team with a remarkable campaign and Narraway is confident that others can follow.

He said: "The first week that I came in I sat down with Dean and told him that I couldn't believe the amount of talent at the Dragons from 17 and 18 up to the older boys in that Celtic Cup team.

"I was taken aback because sometimes from the outside, because the Dragons have had a tough ride over the years, you have ideas about what might be there.

"It was far from that – I was shocked in a good way by the talent that I saw. It's about now harnessing that talent and bringing it through to have a region that has got lots of players in the first team squad who have grown up here."

Narraway started his coaching life in Coventry and had a spell in France with Bordeaux-Begles before heading to Newport.

The 36-year-old aims to also develop through working closely with Ryan, Davies and the rest of the backroom staff.

"From seeing the squad that the Dragons have – very youthful with loads of enthusiasm – it's an exciting place to be," he said.

"Hopefully I can grow as a coach along with the players and we can see some more good progress, continuing the work from last season."