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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Forster completes Doncaster move
Jason Forster (right)
Forster says the Dragons' contract offer was "insulting"
Newport Gwent Dragons captain Jason Forster has moved to Doncaster as player/forwards coach.

The once-capped open-side, 35, failed to arrange a planned deal to split time between Newport RFC and the Dragons while developing as a coach.

He joins up with ex-Dragons and Wales defence coach Clive Griffiths, Doncaster's new director of rugby.

The Yorkshire side have also signed Luke Gross (Newcastle), Ben Phillips (Pontypridd) and Glen Wilson (Otley).

The contract the Dragons offered me was insulting and embarrassing

Jason Forster

Former USA Eagles, Llanelli and Harlequins lock Gross will combine playing part-time with a job in Doncaster, while hooker Phillips will also have a role as a video analyst at the club.

"I am gutted to be leaving, but the contract the Dragons offered me was insulting and embarrassing," Forster told the South Wales Argus.

"I'm disappointed nothing came out of coaching with Newport. It seems to me some people are there for their own benefit, not to help the region.

"It's time businessmen came in to the Dragons with money and ideas with ambition to bring in new players and provide new facilities.

"But I've had a fantastic, memorable seven years at Rodney Parade. The supporters are second to none and I've made some great friends."

Forster will not feature in the Gwent side's Heineken Cup play-off with Overmach Parma as he will be out of contract and has agreed to join the Barbarians tour to Scotland and Georgia.

People have to understand we are trying to move an organisation forward here with limited resources

Dragons coach Paul Turner

The flanker, a prolific try scorer in his career with Bridgend, Bedford, Newport and the Dragons, won his only Wales cap against Argentina on the 2004 summer tour.

He has captained the Dragons for the past two seasons and his two tries against Glasgow earlier this month made him the Celtic League's all-time leading try scorer with 24 (73 appearances).

"I understand Jason's frustrations, but it's not my style to wash dirty linen in public," said Dragons coach Paul Turner.

"People have to understand we are trying to move an organisation forward here with limited resources.

"It's disappointing and sad we couldn't agree terms, but now is probably the time for both parties to move on.

"I do understand his ambition to get on the coaching ladder, having been in England for 13 years it's a good avenue to learn your trade in and he can always ask my advice.

"I'd personally like to thank Jason for his massive contribution, we'll miss his leadership and cutting edge."

Newport RFC named Ian Hembrow as their new head coach last month, with Sven Cronk and Mike Sage his assistants.

The club say that they could not offer Forster a coaching position because he does not have the necessary level three qualification which the Welsh Rugby Union insist upon before a Premier division appointment.



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