Thursday 27 July 2017

Former Leinster and Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman named the new head coach of the Dragons

Bernard Jackman. Photo: Sportsfile
Bernard Jackman. Photo: Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Bernard Jackman has been appointed the as the new head coach of the Dragons, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced.

Jackman, who played played for Leinster and Connacht and earned nine caps with Ireland, has earned a big reputation during his time with Grenoble in the French Top 14 over the past number of years.

The 41-year-old will take over at Rodney Parade from Kingsley Jones, with Jones in turn appointed to head up the Welsh Rugby Unions exiles programme - a role which will utilise his rugby knowledge and experience to identify and recruit new talent to the professional game in Wales.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who coached Jackman at Connacht, gave the Irishman 'the highest of recommendations'.

"Bernard is an ideal fit for the Dragons and I know he will be work diligently and exhaustively to ensure that the set-up both on and off the pitch at Rodney Parade is of the very highest quality," said Gatland, speaking from the current Lions tour of New Zealand.

"He will be a huge asset to the region, he will create the right environment to allow a talented group to become even better players at the Dragons and he is someone in whom the supporters can put their trust as he will work tirelessly in his pursuit of success."

Jackman was previously head coach of Top 14 side Grenoble before leaving in March this year, he has also coached at Newbridge and Clontarf RFC and as a player has won the European Cup with Sale Sharks (2002) and both the Celtic League (2009) and the Heineken Cup (2009) with Leinster.

"It is a huge honour for me to be joining the Dragons at such an exciting time in their history," said Jackman.

"The region is a hot bed of Welsh rugby and to join at such a significant moment in time is a challenge I relish. I cant wait to get started and look forward to meeting the playing squad and the backroom team.

"We are obviously at the beginning of a major period of transition off the pitch, but on it we will need to quickly get down to work and reward the faith and obvious passion of our supporters throughout the region."

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