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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Turner lands Dragons coaching job
New Dragons coach Paul Turner
Former Wales fly-half Paul Turner has been unveiled as the new coach of Newport Gwent Dragons.

Turner, 46, who won three Wales caps, has left his assistant coach job at Harlequins following their relegation from the Zurich Premiership.

Turner has signed a two-year contract with an option for another year.

Leigh Jones and David Rees remain as part of the coaching team. The region have also signed Carmarthen's Aled Thomas and Bridgend's Chris Davies.

Both are Wales Under-21 caps, and scrum-half team-mate James Ireland of Newport is also given a regional contract, along with Newport front-row forwards Gethin Robinson and Kieran Crawford.

The main part of my job without a doubt is to get the very best out of the current squad
Paul Turner
Wing Richard Fussell (Pontypridd), full-back Ricky Williams, number eight Richard Dale and lock Ben Thompson (all Newport) have signed apprentice contracts for the Dragons.

Turner, 46, is the fourth Dragons coach since the region's inception just two years ago.

"I am looking forward to the challenge in my home region and feel that I have gained a huge amount of experience after 13 years in England," he said.

"Next season is going to be a huge challenge given that budgets are a lot tighter, but also the Celtic League is set to be more of a challenge with games based on non-international weekends.

PAUL TURNER
Born: Newbridge, 13-02-59
Clubs: Newbridge, Newport
Wales caps: 3
Coaching roles: Sale, Bedford, Saracens, Gloucester, Harlequins
"The main part of my job without a doubt is to get the very best out of the current squad.

"Having watched from afar over the last two years since the formation of the Dragons I have admired their style of play and they have the ability to be one of the more attractive sides in the league."

Turner succeeds Chris Anderson, the former Australia rugby league coach, who has left after just a year in charge at Rodney Parade.

Mike Ruddock left to coach Wales after a relatively successful first term, Declan Kidney lasted three weeks before being released to coach Leinster, and then the region gambled on Anderson.

The appointment will also please the Welsh Rugby Union, which was keen for a Welshman to take over the reins.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Newport Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner



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SEE ALSO
Harlequins seek quick solutions
01 May 05 |  English



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