WRU to take control of Dragons

Updated: 

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has announced its intention to assume control of Pro12 side the Newport Gwent Dragons.

The region has been seeking investment for almost a year and the proposed takeover deal will also see the WRU acquire the Dragons' Rodney Parade stadium, which is shared with Newport RFC and Newport County FC and has become notorious for the state of its playing surface this season.

July 1 has been set as a targeted completion date for the transaction.

"All parties recognise that from an NGD perspective significant improvement is required on and off the pitch and that it is now time to take a different approach," said WRU Group chief executive Martyn Phillips.

"This investment is equally designed to safeguard Newport RFC and its rich history at Rodney Parade and provides a long-term programme where we focus on putting in solid foundations to ensure a sustainable and successful team in the region.

"Without this action the future of both the NGD and Newport RFC is at best uncertain, along with the existence of Rodney Parade.

"There is still a lot of hard work to be completed before the proposed transaction proceeds, but it is important to recognise that there will be no magic wand.  

"Above all we want to safeguard the future of regional rugby in the area and, in turn, support the 73 clubs in the region and their stakeholders.

"A WRU working party will be engaged as soon possible, to consider all of the issues raised and to provide a clear way forward in the long term."

Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies added: "There is further hard work ahead, but this could be a historic moment for Newport Gwent Dragons supporters."