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Paul Turner says he has no Dragons regrets

Former Dragons coach Paul Turner
Paul Turner was appointed by the Newport Gwent Dragons in 2005

Paul Turner says he has no regrets about the controversy that surrounded his last days as Dragons head coach.

Turner parted company with the region in February after criticising the Welsh Rugby Union and then having a clash with a journalist.

After six years at Rodney Parade he now wants to put the events behind him.

"These things happen. It's a pretty volatile sport it involves the whole country," Turner told BBC Wales' Scrum V Radio programme.

"I think I've done enough in my playing and coaching career to earn the respect that I just don't go and say things unless there's something wrong. It happens.

"It was a tough couple of weeks but I particularly kept my own counsel and it's just time to move on for a new challenge now... it's all in the past for me.

"It was difficult. It's something I'd rather not talk about.

"We parted amicably and that's all I can say about it really."

Turner, capped three times by Wales at outside-half, hit the headlines when he was suspended by the region for his criticism of the WRU alleging they had put his players through over-rigorous conditioning checks ahead of the Six Nations Championship.

Before the club announced his suspension, an apology from Turner appeared on the Dragons' website.

Ahead of the apology he had branded the conditioning checks as a "disgrace" after claiming he specifically asked the WRU to leave out injury-plagued Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau.

Turner claimed Lydiate came back injured, although the WRU said he did not take part in the checks as he was already injured.

The 51-year-old also got into hot water after being asked about his future as Dragons coach following the region's poor run. He told the reporter to leave and was accused of being "threatening" in doing so.

The controversy came just months after he was named Magners League coach for the 2009/10 season.

But Turner claims the two incidents have not tarnished his relationship with the Dragons.

"I enjoyed working for the Dragons and I've still got a few friends there and there are quite a few people there who are trying to drive the region forward and I will always be in support of that," he said.

It was sad the way it ended, but I've just got to move on now and I think they have as well.

Paul Turner

"I felt I had a lot of good people working for me and I always got the support of my chairman, Martin [Hazel], and still remain friends with [Martin]."

Added Turner: "I felt I had worked pretty hard over the six years and probably time to move on for both parties really.

"Travelling up and down from London for six years was a lot more tougher than I thought.

"It was sad the way it ended, but I've just got to move on now and I think they have as well.

"They have got a big end to the season coming: five out of six at home in the Magners League and I will certainly be shouting for them in this last couple of weeks of the season.

"It was a big six years for me. I felt I helped develop what is my home region. I have still got family and friends there. [I] brought a lot youngsters through the system."

Turner has been out of rugby since parting company with the Dragons and has no immediate plans to return to coaching.

"I'm not in a rush at the moment although you get that adrenalin. Once you have played and then gone in to coaching then it's hard to shake it off," he added.

"I've got people out there looking for me at the moment so we'll see what happens really."

Since Turner's departure Darren Edwards, his assistant, has taken over as caretaker coach and wants to have the job on a permanent basis from next season.

Edwards has had a relatively successful start having four straight wins and a draw as well as taking the Dragons to the LV= Cup semi-final.

They have lost their last three games including that semi-final, going down 45-17 at Gloucester.



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see also
Turner parts company with Dragons
11 Feb 11 |  NG Dragons
WRU write to Dragons over tests
07 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Turner lands Dragons coaching job
10 May 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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