Celtic League title contenders Gwent Dragons today announced the appointment of current Ireland assistant coach Declan Kidney as their new coach in place of Mike Ruddock
Celtic League title contenders Gwent Dragons today announced the appointment of current Ireland assistant coach Declan Kidney as their new coach in place of Mike Ruddock who leaves at the end of this season to take up his role as coach to the Welsh national side.
Besides announcing the appointment of Kidney, The Dragons also announced that Chief Executive David Jenkins is stepping down to be replaced by former player Andy Marinos.
In a statement issued today Tony Brown said,
“I am delighted to be able to confirm our on-field and off-field appointments.
There has been much speculation over recent weeks as to who the new Chief Executive and coach might be and I believe we have the right people in the right positions now to take this team forward. Mike Ruddock has done a tremendous job through difficult circumstances and we wish him the best of luck in his new role. However, today is about taking rugby in south east Wales forward, giving the people of the area something to shout about and a team to be proud of. I have no doubt that Andy Marinos and Declan Kidney are the people to do this. They both share one common goal, to be the best, which is our ambition as a region.
“Marinos will take charge of all off-field affairs using his previous business expertise and experience to oversee the commercial side of the business as well as being in charge of all budgetary issues, recruitment and financial concerns to the Dragons. He has experience in the business world and has the know how, experience and contacts to really move the business forward off-field.”
The Dragons have surprised everyone with their performances on the field this season currently lying third in the Celtic League table only two points behind the leaders. However, the Dragons are an ambitious side who want to be the best in Europe and have appointed a coach with a proven track record and strong credential who can help the region achieve their burning ambition.
Kidney, who guided Ireland U19s to World Cup victory, Ireland A to a championship title and Munster to two Heineken Cup finals said, I am very excited to be here and relishing the task before me. Rugby in the area has very strong traditions and that is something I can personally relate to. There is a great structure at the club and the players possess the ability to achieve great things, it is up to me to bring that out of them and I will be working hard to do so.
Kidney probably caught The Dragons’ (then known as Newport) attention in the Pool stages of the 2000/2001 competition. In that game, a Newport side captained by Gary Teichmann and including such players as Adrian Garvey, Simon Raiwauli, Shane Howarth and Matt Pini raced into an early 21-10 lead.
Roared on by the partisan Rodney Parade crowd Newport looked home and hosed until Kidney astutely sprang Mike Mullins from the bench as the game entered the final quarter.
Mullins scored within minutes and Munster cut loose to claim a famous 39-24 victory, the cries from the home crowd of “Who Let The Dogs Out” drowned out by the Munster supporter’s jubilant riposte of “Who Let The Claw Out.”