Dragons: New coach Bernard Jackman wants fans 'proud' to wear jersey

Bernard Jackman takes a Dragons training sessions
Bernard Jackman was coach at Grenoble before joining Dragons

Coach Bernard Jackman wants to see rival teams' shirts replaced by Dragons colours on the streets of the region.

Jackman has taken over the Dragons job in the summer and aims to restore pride in the struggling team.

"We want people to be proud to wear a Dragons jersey," said Jackman.

"There are too many Ospreys, Scarlets and Blues jerseys being worn in the region. That's our fault and we need to fix that."

Ex-Ireland international Jackman has been active on social media since taking the job to try to promote the region.

"We need to get the product right and it's how we interact with people," said Jackman. "We are not good enough to be stand-offish and when we are good enough, we shouldn't be stand-offish either.

"We should always be open and transparent. That's my vision for the region.

"We are starting at ground level. We have a chance to reunite the region and be proud of the Dragons."

Jackman admitted he faces a big task on the field to turn the Dragons' fortunes around.

"We have a lot of work to do," he said. "I don't want to mess around and say things are great. I have inherited a region and team needing a lot of work and support.

Dragons player Hallam Amos greets fans
Wales wing Hallam Amos greets fans at Rodney Parade

"I am excited by the potential, but we are starting off from 11th in the league and winning four games last year. That's not acceptable and there are reasons behind that record.

"We need significant change in how we prepare. There is probably not one area that's up to scratch."

The Dragons have suffered three heavy pre-season defeats to Montpellier (40-15), Northampton (71-21) and Exeter before their final pre-season match against Glasgow.

"We had a very tough fixture list," said Jackman. "I wanted to give everyone a chance and that's part of my mantra.

"Everyone gets a chance to play for the Dragons early doors to lay down a marker, after that you have to earn your game time.

"Some have taken a chance so far, some haven't."

Jackman is also hoping to learn some Welsh as he settles into his new home.

"I am going to start a course, but in pre-season I have not had much spare time," said Jackman.

"Welsh people are proud of their rugby and language. I had a decent level of Irish and picked up some fluent French.

"I am not saying I am going to be fluent in Welsh but would like to pick up some of the language.

"It's important to buy into the place you live. I want to do a course and then it's up to me to get my homework done."

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