Former Ireland rugby international Bernard Jackman has been announced as head coach of Pro12 side Newport-Gwent Dragons.
The former Grenoble coach has moved to the Welsh club, who finished in 11th place in last season’s competition, behind Italian side Benetton Rugbyon points differnce – and only ahead of Zebre – the other Italian representitive, who only won three games all year.
Jackman takes over from Kingsley Jones, who will take a role in the WRU’s Exile programme.
— Dragons (@dragonsrugby) June 12, 2017
Bernard Jackman announced as head coach of Dragons.
— david kelly (@dk3lly) June 12, 2017
Ex-Ireland hooker, Bernard Jackman to replace Kingsley Jones as head coach of the Dragons. Jones to head up the WRU's Exiles programme.
— Rugby World (@Rugbyworldmag) June 12, 2017
In a statement on their website, the Dragons said of the appointment:
The appointment of Jackman is the first milestone moment in a new direction for the Dragons team in direct partnership with the WRU. A former Irish international hooker Jackman played in the Connacht side coached by Warren Gatland which reached the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals in the late 90s and he arrives in Wales with the highest of recommendations from the British & Irish Lions and Wales head coach. A review of the coaching set up at the Dragons was undertaken by Stuart Davies and Martyn Phillips and involved Geraint John, Head of Professional Rugby at the WRU and Wales and British & Irish Lions Head Coach, Gatland.
Speaking from New Zealand, Lions coach Gatland spoke about Jackman’s new job:
“Bernard is an ideal fit for the Dragons and I know he will be work diligently and exhaustively to ensure that the set-up both on and off the pitch at Rodney Parade is of the very highest quality.
“He will be a huge asset to the Region, he will create the right environment to allow a talented group to become even better players at the Dragons and he is someone in whom the supporters will find they can put their trust as he will work tirelessly in his pursuit of success.”
Jackman will be hoping he can change the Welsh side’s fortunes in the upcoming season.
Joel Slattery, Pundit Arena
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