RaboDirect Pro12: Tom Prydie and Ashley Smith sign new Dragons deals
RaboDirect Pro12: Tom Prydie and Ashley Smith sign new deals with Newport Gwent Dragons
Newport Gwent Dragons wing Tom Prydie and centre Ashley Smith have signed contract extensions with the ambitious Welsh region.
The new deals will keep the duo at the region until at least May 2017 as director of rugby Lyn Jones looks to transform the underdogs into the best of the four Welsh professional clubs.
I am delighted to have been able to re-sign for another three years
Prydie, 22, made his senior Wales debut at the age of 18 years and 25 days against Italy in the final match of the 2010 Six Nations despite limited playing time with the Ospreys.
He has continued to show promise as part of the Dragons outfit since joining in 2012 after a loan spell in the Aviva Premiership with London Wasps, scoring seven tries in 29 appearances in the RaboDirect Pro12.
“I am pleased that I have re-signed for the Newport Gwent Dragons,” Pryde said. “I am really looking forward to being here over the next three seasons alongside the rest of the squad.
“Lyn has a really positive outlook on the next few seasons for the region and I look forward to what the future holds here.”
Newport-born Smith, 27, who has made 145 appearances in nine seasons with the region after coming through the Dragons academy, is also looking forward to the future at Rodney Parade under Jones.
“I am delighted to have been able to re-sign for another three years with my home town club,” Smith added.
“Under Lyn’s guidance the club is going places and will become very successful in the coming seasons. I look forward to what the future holds with the Dragons and being part of its success.”
Jones—who led the Ospreys to two Celtic League titles and Anglo-Welsh Cup success during his five seasons in charge—joined the Dragons at the start of the season from Greene King IPA Championship club London Welsh and has set about transforming the region on and off the pitch.
“I am delighted that both Ashley and Tom are extending their contracts with us for another three seasons,” said Jones.
“Ashley is an integral part of the squad here at Rodney Parade and has proved to be a strong and natural leader both on and off the pitch.
“He has had a great season with us and I look forward to working with him over the seasons to come.
“Tom has shown great promise throughout his time with the region and I am looking forward to working with him over the coming seasons.
“He delivers and responds to everything the coaches and I throw at him, he has great potential as a player and I hope that he realises that himself.”
Jones has already secured the services of Welsh internationals Lee Byrne and Aled Brew—who are returning to Wales from French Top14 clubs—as well as experienced forwards Boris Stankovich from Leicester Tigers and former Dragons and Wales lock Ian Gough from London Irish.