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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Newport win Dragons fight
Tony Brown
Brown will be director for the Newport Gwent Dragons
The new Gwent regional rugby side has been renamed before it has even played a competitive game.

The team will be known as the Newport Gwent Dragons rather than the Gwent Dragons, following a bitter row between fans of Newport RFC and the other clubs in the region.

Newport rugby backer Tony Brown has confirmed he will become director of the new set-up, less than 24 hours after Ebbw Vale chairman Marcus Russell pulled out of the regional side.

Only 1,000 season tickets had been sold for the coming season, but with Newport now dominating the side Black and Ambers fans have started showing renewed interest.

"It's a shame it had to come to this, but unless urgent action was taken the region would have been bankrupt by Christmas," Brown told The South Wales Argus.

"In order to avoid that Marcus Russell resigned and he appears to blame everyone but himself, so Newport had to step in and fill the void.

"We had created something special at Newport. We want to maintain that, build on it and ask those corporate sponsors who have supported us in the past to come back on board and help us drive the region forward."

The Dragons will play their first home match, a friendly against Leeds, at Pontypool Park on Friday night.

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