FORMER fly-half James Dixon has returning to Rodney Parade as Newport backs coach.

The 34-year-old spent two seasons with the Black and Ambers between 2006 and 2008, battling for the 10 jersey with hall of famer Dan Griffiths.

Dixon, who scored 238 points in 42 games, also played in the Premiership for Cardiff, Bridgend, Carmarthen Quins, Swansea and Bedwas.

The former playmaker moved into coaching and was a member of Steve Law’s management team in the capital, helping the Blue and Blacks to a strong position for the title before the 2019/20 season was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dixon will now return to Newport to replace Dai Lynch, who has stepped down as one of head coach Ty Morris’ assistants.

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“James is an exciting, young and ambitious coach who has spent the last three season at the Arms Park, initially in a skills and conditioning role before progressing to lead their attack,” read a club statement.

“During that spell he helped them win the Cup and they were in a great position to achieve a league and cup double before the season prematurely ended.

“He brings a fresh, insightful approach to the backroom team and as a former outside half preaches an exciting and attacking brand of rugby that is synonymous with the club.

“As a former player James is well aware of the club values and history and will be familiar to the Newport faithful.

“James has been on board for quite a while now during the lockdown period and can’t wait to get out there and start working with the players. We all welcome him back to the club and wish him well.”

While the professional game is preparing for a return on the weekend of August 22 to finish the Guinness PRO14 and European competitions, it is likely to be quite some time before clubs get the green light for competitive action.

Free Press Series: LEADER: Flanker Rhys Jenkins, pictured celebrating a try against Cardiff, has been named as Newport captain

Newport will once again be led by combative back row forward Rhys Jenkins when they do get the go-ahead.

The 30-year-old will be skipper for the fourth season on the spin, adding to his 157 appearances for the club.

Morris said: “We are pleased to announce that Rhys will be captaining the squad this coming season.

“With the uncertain times we find ourselves in, we need a leader that will bring stability and there’s no one better than Rhys at this.

“On the field he brings a constant high level of performance and off it he has a calm persona that is infectious to others around the camp.

“Rhys is a proud Newport boy that has been a pivotal figure for the club in recent years. He has led from the front as captain for the past three seasons and I’m sure he will lead us again through the challenging times that Covid-19 has brought to our regular rugby structure.”