Newport Gwent Dragons need experience, says Lyn Jones

Lyn Jones
Lyn Jones has also had coaching spells with Ospreys and London Welsh

Newport Gwent Dragons need more experienced players to allow their youngsters to fulfil their potential, says director of rugby Lyn Jones.

Dragons have shown signs of progress this season, reaching the European Challenge Cup semi-finals.

But a crushing defeat to Edinburgh at that stage and a Judgement Day loss to Scarlets exposed their frailties.

"The negative is that they don't have experience around them to help and nurture their game," said Jones.

"The positive is they're on the field and experiencing it. They're going to become good players."

Dragons have been without a number of seasoned players at times this term, such as Lee Byrne, Andrew Coombs and Boris Stankovich.

Tyler Morgan scores for Dragons
Tyler Morgan, aged just 19, is one of three Wales under-20s players who were in the Dragons team that lost to Scarlets.

In their absence, the Gwent region have used promising young prospects such as Hallam Amos, James Benjamin and Tyler Morgan.

They have starred in season highlights such as claiming a Pro12 double against former European champions Leinster.

But their inexperience was exploited by Edinburgh and Scarlets.

"The [Dragons'] standard of rugby at this level needs to be better," added Jones.

"Every individual needs to bring more responsibility to the game.

"It's a very interdependent sport where you rely so heavily on people doing their role, doing their job correctly."

Dragons remain ninth in the Pro12 table, but Jones is encouraged by his side's progress this season.

"We've been a good side since December but we haven't played well in the last eight days," he said.

"That does not make us a bad side. We are still a good side but we didn't prove that [against the Scarlets]."