Dragons recruit Rob Appleyard as assistant coach

Rob Appleyard
Rob Appleyard represented Wales nine times between 1997 and 1998

Newport Gwent Dragons have appointed Rob Appleyard as an assistant coach.

Appleyard has been with the region on a short-term basis since February 2011, but joins the region after being the Welsh Rugby Union Academy skills coach.

"We'd like to welcome Rob Appleyard as a full-time member of the Dragons coaching team," said Dragons director of rugby Robert Beale.

"Rob joins Darren Edwards' coaching team as an assistant coach with responsibilities for defence."

Edwards was made the region's new head coach in April 2011, a role he had done in a caretaker capacity after the departure of Paul Turner.

Appleyard is currently working with the Wales Under-20 side at the Junior World Championship in Italy and has impressed the Dragons.

"He has had a huge impact on our environment since his involvement with the region and we would like to thank Joe Lydon [WRU head of rugby] and the WRU in enabling Rob to join the Dragons on a full-time basis," added Beale.

"We are confident that he will make a valuable contribution to both our defence and other areas of our game moving forward."

Appleyard, 38, won nine Wales caps as a flanker, playing for Swansea, Sale, Cardiff and Cardiff Blues before going into coaching. He has held posts at the Ospreys and the Scarlets regional academy.

On Appleyard's appointment Lydon said: "We have worked closely with the Dragons management team on the process of this appointment.

"We know Rob's ambition has been to coach at regional level for some time now and we see this as a positive opportunity for Rob, the players and the Dragons region.

"Rob has a wealth of experience as a player and coach.

"This experience, coupled with a fantastic work ethic and appreciation of what is needed to develop players at all levels, means Rob is and will continue to be a valued member of any coaching set-up.

"We wish Rob and the Dragons well for the coming season and look forward to continuing to work with Rob and the Dragons in developing talented players for Welsh rugby at all levels."

The Dragons have also appointed Sara Davies, also from the WRU, as team administrator.