DRAGONS fans have recently had to endure the familiar threat of cutting off the region, but how important is the team to Newport and the rest of Gwent?
Luckily for fans, it appears the region is safe at the moment, but the region scrapping issue is likely to reappear in the future.
Our title of sister, the Argus spoke to fans ahead of last night’s derby with Cardiff about their thoughts on the recent uncertainty around the club’s future and the importance of having a professional rugby team in Gwent.
David Richards said he thought it was “short-sighted” for the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to consider cutting the Dragons, although he’s glad it doesn’t happen in a immediate future.
“I’m relieved as Gwent is a big area that needs representation,” Mr Richards said.
“It’s one of the most populated parts of Wales, you need to have a professional team.
“Having a professional rugby team is hugely important and provides a clear path for young players.”
Nick Price, a season ticket holder since the formation of the Dragons, said: “I’ve followed the Dragons from start to finish.
“The whole of Gwent will be stripped of their rugby rights if the team leaves.
“Newport is the third largest city in Wales – the fan base is available but it keeps people coming.”
Another fan who did not wish to be named was rather disparaging about the WRU and said their recent actions did not inspire confidence.
“It’s extremely important to have a professional team here,” said the fan.
“If the Dragons are closed then the county will suffer because they cannot afford to buy Rodney Parade.
“It could potentially destroy the sport in South East Wales and put a lot of people out of business.”
Michael Weedall, a wheelchair rugby player for the Dragons (below, second from right), spoke highly of the region.
“The Dragons as a region are really involved in the community,” Mr. Weedall said.
“It’s absolutely fabulous the work they do.
“As a wheelchair team, we have the Dragons behind us and that means a lot.
“If the team leaves, what will happen to all these arrangements? What will happen to people’s mental and physical health?”
However, Mr. Weedall’s enthusiasm for the team is not shared by all.
Writing on social networks, a lot Argus readers said they were more invested in Newport RFC than the Dragons.
A number said the Dragons were not well supported outside of Newport.
Fan Matt Beck agreed with this and said: “Not enough of the Gwent area to support the Dragons.
“But the other clubs in the west don’t have much support either.”
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However, when asked if it would be better to ditch the regional format, Mr Beck said “the game has moved on”.
But other readers have commented on the importance of the community work done by the Dragons.
Whatever the future holds, it’s likely that support for the Dragons can only grow if results improve.
The team clearly have die-hard fans, but the rest of Newport and Gwent may continue to doubt the importance of the team despite their visibility in the community.
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