Newport Gwent Dragons seeking investment and independence

Taulupe Faletau
Taulupe Faletau is one of the star names the Dragons have been unable to keep as he joins Bath this summer

Newport Gwent Dragons are seeking new investment under plans that would see the WRU relinquish their 50% stake in the region.

In a statement, the region made clear they intend to seek new ownership and investment. Joint-owners Newport RFC would also transfer their shares.

"This is an important decision that will enable a new chapter to be written," said CEO Stuart Davies.

The Dragons are the only Welsh region partially owned by the WRU.

A WRU spokesman confirmed to BBC Wales that the WRU and the region "are joined up on this."

The region have finished as the lowest Welsh region in eight out of 12 seasons in the Pro12 and have struggled to attract big name signings, or to hold on to top Welsh internationals.

The current Newport Gwent Dragons board is made up of Chairman Martyn Hazell and seven directors, including major contributor Tony Brown and Newport RFC Chairman Will Godfrey.

Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade would continue to be owned by Newport RFC even though the Dragons are up for sale

The board will continue in their current capacity until new investors or owners are found, but the agreement will not affect the ownership of Rodney Parade, which will be maintained by Newport RFC.

Newport County AFC are also tenants at Rodney Parade, having signed a ten-year lease.

"I am excited by the potential we have and the prospects that this moment brings, and the search can begin in earnest now for the people who wish to take a place at Welsh rugby's top table and embark on what could be a great adventure," Davies said.

Dragons' chairman Hazell added: "The time is right to hand over the reins and in the process hopefully secure our prosperity and competitiveness."

"Newport RFC understand and support the aspirations of the Dragons and will assist in helping them achieve their aim," Newport RFC owner Godfrey confirmed.

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