Dragons confirm major double coup
Wed, 08 Jan 2014 15:50
I hope to bring my experiences from France back to the Dragons
Newport Gwent Dragons on Wednesday confirmed the signing of British and Irish Lions fullback Lee Byrne and Welsh international wing Aled Brew.
Byrne will be joining the Dragons on a two-year contract while Brew has signed a three-year deal with the region.
Byrne, who is currently out of action with a dislocated shoulder, has been rated amongst some of the best fullbacks in the world.
Currently associated with Top 14 French team Clermont, he is looking forward to returning to Wales. "I am excited to be returning to Wales to play again. I hope to bring my experiences from France back to the Dragons,” he said.
"It's no secret that the best fans in Wales are at Rodney Parade and it will be a nice change to have them cheer for me and not jeer for me!”
Talking about working with Dragons Director of Rugby Lyn Jones, he said, "I am really pleased to be getting the opportunity to work with Lyn Jones again. I have a lot of respect for him and I'm looking forward to having the chance to be part of developing a competitive Welsh region in the Dragons.”
Brew returns to the club after a two-year stint at Biarritz and has had two previous spells with the men of Gwent where he scored 43 tries and made 108 appearances for them before moving to France.
Talking about his stint in France, Brew said, "I've really enjoyed my time in France and would like to think I've learned a lot during my time in Biarritz and that I've become a better player because of it.
"I have no regrets at all about my time in French rugby, it's been a fantastic experience but I feel it's the right time to come home for me and my family.”
Talking about his return to the men of Gwent, Brew said, "I always wanted return to the Dragons after France given the chance. And I also still have ambition to play for Wales and to do that, I know I have to play week-in, week-out and it's something I'm determined to do with the Dragons.
"The Dragons' ambition to become the best side in Wales, securing the likes of Toby and Byrney and also getting new training facilities in Ystrad Mynach mean it's exciting times for Gwent rugby, and I'll be proud to be a part of that.”
Jones was pleased with the news of the signings and said, "I am absolutely delighted to sign someone of Lee's experience and calibre. He has proved himself in Britain and France as a top quality No.15.
"There are still many in the game who still rate Lee as the best 15 in the UK. It's a significant signing for us who is going to help the growth of our Gwent side whilst helping to develop Hallam Amos as a future Welsh 15.
"Aled has shown a desire to come back to his natural home of Newport Gwent Dragons where he was extremely popular with the supporters in the past and proved to be an excellent try scorer.
"As well as Lee, Aled is a significant signing for the region and we are excited for his return to Gwent. I look forward to seeing him play once again on Rodney Parade.”
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