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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
Heineken no great loss - Turner
A dejected Haldane Luscombe after the loss to Overmach Parma, his last game for the Dragons
Hal Luscombe leaves Rodney Parade after his last Drgaons match
Dragons coach Paul Turner insists his side's failure to qualify for the Heineken Cup is not a disaster.

"The supporters are disappointed but it's no big deal to me," said Turner after their 24-15 play-off loss to Italian side Overmach Parma on Friday.

"We're in the European Challenge Cup and I've never been scared of that; I've been in it and won it with Quins.

"Facing Castres, Munster and Sale this year took its toll on our squad. We can concentrate better on domestic rugby."

The cash-strapped Gwent side are the first Welsh region not to make Europe's premier tournament.

They finished fourth from bottom of the Celtic League this season, and have lost leading players Jason Forster and Hal Luscombe, who is joining Harlequins next season.

We're in a development cycle and at the moment are clearly not good enough to go into the Heineken

Paul Turner

Club captain Forster left for Doncaster with a dire warning on the future of the Dragons, whose lack of a financial backer, dilapidated Rodney Parade home, and poor facilities leave them in danger of becoming a development side.

But Turner says he is not so pessimistic and that the failure to secure Heineken Cup rugby will not affect his summer recruitment plans.

"We'll be announcing five or six signings next week and are looking around for more," said Turner.

"We're in a development cycle and at the moment are clearly not good enough to go into the Heineken.


"It's been a hugely disappointing season, and with our small squad it's gone on a month too long.

"There was a lot of sticking plaster around for the Parma game. I don't think we were beaten by a better side, but they were very physical and deserving winners.

"Our decision-making and ball control just wasn't good enough.

"We needed someone to drive us on to victory, but we just didn't have that player.

"But I'm not too pessimistic and we will keep on trying to build this side into one of the better Welsh regions."

Dragons 15-24 Overmach Parma
02 Jun 06 |  Welsh
European Challenge Cup 2006/7
02 Mar 06 |  European Club
BBC Wales Sport coverage
18 Sep 05 |  Wales
Transfer talk - Welsh regions
08 Jan 06 |  Welsh


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