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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Dragons make double swoop
Rhodri Jones
Rhodri Jones is an experienced campaigner
Rhodri Jones and Ben Breeze have joined the new Gwent Dragons regional side, but the whereabouts of Ofisa Tonu'u remains a mystery.

Scrum-half Jones, who joins from Swansea, has opted for the Dragons despite attracting interest from Llanelli and Bath.

Winger Breeze is hoping to get his career back on track after a serious knee injury severely limited his appearances for Newport last season.

The Dragons are also keen to secure Tonu'u's signature for next season, but the former New Zealand scrum-half has not reported for pre-season training.

Said coach Mike Ruddock: "We're waiting for more information from him and his agent regarding his contribution to the regional side.

"So with that in mind, and because we needed three scrum-halves, we've signed Rhodri Jones.

"He's a very experienced player, he's played for Wales A and will add considerably to our squad.

The players have responded superbly to training and just ignored the politics
Dragons coach Mike Ruddock
"We're also delighted Ben Breeze has joined us. He had a bad knee injury last year that required surgery.

"He's worked his way back to full fitness now and the medical reports are good."

The merger between Newport and Ebbw Vale to form the Gwent Dragons has been the most troublesome of all the new regional entities.

The Welsh Rugby Union were asked to mediate after the clubs reached stalemate trying to name, and now a fresh row has erupted over the venue for the Dragons' home matches.

Ebbw have objected to the proposed rent charges for using Newport's Rodney Parade ground.

Ruddock, though, has insisted the off-field wrangling have not effected his or the players' preparations for the new season.

"The players have responded superbly to training and just ignored the politics," he said.

"They're all looking to improve and to make the region a really strong team."

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