Newport Gwent Dragons back row Lewis Evans will be leading from the front as he takes over the captaincy of the regional side for the coming season.
Evans, who developed through the regional age-grade set-up, captaining the Dragons Under 20s has been with the senior side since 2006 when he made his regional debut aged just 18.
“I’m overwhelmed and really honoured to have been named captain for the coming season,” said Evans. “The Dragons players are more than just co-workers – these guys are my mates on and off the field. It makes this a special place to play and I’m really looking forward to leading the boys out.
There’s a great atmosphere in the camp and that’s shown in the intensity of our pre-season training. These are boys who will lay themselves on the line without hesitation and it’s and very exciting to be asked to represent them in this way.”
With Welsh stars Lydiate and Faletau in the back row, as well as up and coming players such as Darren Waters, Evans knows that the pressure will be on to keep his spot in the back row.
“Captaining doesn’t always guarantee selection and I know that it’s going to be tough this season with the Welsh boys in the side and Darren on my tail. I want to ensure that I’m selected on my own merit and if I want to be pushing for international selection I need to be able to stand up alongside the best.
“Like most young players I aspired to captain the regional side, but to be doing it at a young age is more than I would have dreamed of. Having said that, we know what our goals are – to make Rodney Parade a fortress and pick up those crucial wins on the road so I’m as focussed as ever on the job in hand.”
Dragons Director of Rugby Robert Beale is confident that Lewis is the man for the job “I’m delighted to be announcing Lewis as the Dragons captain for the coming season,” he said. “The coaching team put a lot of thought into this appointment and we are sure that Lewis is going to do an excellent job.
“Lewis has proven himself over the past few seasons to be an excellent player and leader of the regional side and I’m sure that this added responsibility will improve him as a player.”