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Aaron Wainwright Is 100 Not Out For The Dragons . . . But When Does He Declare?

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By Simon Thomas

Aaron Wainwright can put his feet up this weekend – a well deserved break for a player who has just played his 100th match for the Dragons.

The Wales back row forward gets a rare weekend off as all four of the Welsh regions have a free pass following a busy festive period that culminated with the Welsh derby games on New Year’s Day.

Wainwright marked a century of appearances for the Dragons with a try-scoring BKT United Rugby Championship Player of the Match performance in a 13-12 victory over the Scarlets at a rain-lashed Rodney Parade.

He has brought up his century at the age of just 26, which is a pretty remarkable achievement.

Reaching his landmark on a winning note was all the sweeter as it saw the Dragons bounce back from their 55-21 defeat to Cardiff Rugby on Boxing Day.

“I am chuffed to bits,” he said. “It was a massive performance from the boys off the back of a disappointing game last week. The atmosphere was incredible.

“There is no better place to play when the stadium is rocking like that. It gave us that extra inch, especially in the closing minutes.

“It’s about making this place hard to come to and the fans definitely play their part in that. How noisy they were and how much they supported us was amazing.

“We wanted to get the result for them and we did that. To get a win in front of a massive home crowd, I couldn’t be happier.

“The pleasing thing was how we managed the conditions. There are a lot of young boys in the team and to see them step up and play their part in the game was great.”

It was Wainwright’s second successive Player of the Match display at Rodney Parade following on from his award-winning efforts in the EPCR Challenge Cup victory over Oyonnax last month.

So, it’s no surprise the Dragons are so keen to hold on to the 43-cap Wales back row man who is out of contract at the end of this season.

Speaking about his future, he said: “This is my home region. I am a Gwent boy, but let’s see what happens.

“There are going to be a lot of tough conversations to be had, but I am enjoying my rugby here at the moment, especially when we are getting wins against other regions like that. There is no better place to play.”

With the only URC match taking place this weekend involving the South African sides – the Sharks at home to the Lions – the focus in Wales will switch to the Indigo Group Premiership.

Leaders Llandovery are looking to extend their four-point gap at the top by beating visitors Pontypridd.

The Drovers have only lost one game all season, have scored 55 tries – a total only Newport can match – and have conceded fewer points (179 in 13 matches than anyone else.

Dragons Star Aaron Wainwright Gets The Coaching Bug Early

The champions won 2-10 at Merthyr in their last game and although they failed to gain a bonus point, coach Euros Evans was pleased with Llandovery’s display.

“We were near to the bonus point but we have often slipped up here so we count a simple away win at the Wern a job well done.”

“The conditions were not in the favour of our style of play but we put our noses to the grindstone and eked out the win”

“We have seven away games left out of our remaining 11 so all away wins are vital to any chance of retaining our title.”

Ebbw Vale, who are in second place, are at home to fifth-placed Cardiff, while third-place Newport are without a fixture.

The top four is completed by Pontypool who are at home to sixth-placed Aberavon.

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2 thoughts on “Aaron Wainwright Is 100 Not Out For The Dragons . . . But When Does He Declare?

  1. Awesome read, Dai! Aaron Wainwright’s achievement is truly impressive, and I’m intrigued by the question of when he’ll declare. It’s great to see such dedication and skill on the pitch. Keep up the good work!

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