Lewis Evans has been named Newport Gwent Dragons Captain ahead of the 2016/17 season.
As he prepares for his 11th season in Dragons colours, 29 year-old Evans takes over from Thomas Rhys Thomas who captained the side last season.
The popular flanker, who has made over 175 appearances for the Men of Gwent, has a wealth of experience which will add to this key role.
On the announcement of his Captaincy, Evans commented: “It’s a massive honour for a local Gwent boy like myself to be named Captain of his Region. It’s something to be proud of and I am looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.
“We have had some great Captains over the years such as Colin Charvis, Kevin Morgan, Luke Charteris, Jason Forster and more recently Andrew Coombs and TRT (Thomas Rhys Thomas). I understand that I am now in this role amongst some quality players and have some big shoes to fill.”
Talking of his relationship with Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones, Evans added: “I have a good working relationship with Kingsley, which we’ve built up over the last two years.
“As a group of players we have more accountability and we must drive the policies forward, and I am happy to be that link between management and players.”
Alongside Evans, experienced players Thomas Rhys Thomas and Nick Crosswell have been named as vice-captains and will play their part in the new-look captaincy of the Region this coming season.
“It’s a massive positive that I have two guys in particular who are quality players and great individuals as vice-captains.”
Newport-born Evans joined the Dragons over a decade ago, as part of the Dragons academy. During this time, he played for Welsh Premiership sides Ebbw Vale and Newport RFC before moving onto the Dragons. Since then he has always played a crucial part in the Dragons squad, whilst also impressing at international level with Wales at all age group levels and the 7s team.
Dragons Head Coach, Kingsley Jones added: “We thought that it would be a good idea to get the players to apply for the role. We wanted to find out how the players perceive the role and responsibilities of the Captain.
“We understand that the role of Captain has changed over the last ten years and that there is an on-field aspect as well as the game understanding, in addition to this the Captain needs to lead by example both on and off the field.”
Jones continued: “It was a really worthwhile process as we had eight excellent applications for the role highlighting what they could bring to the leadership of the group.”
“Lewis has had experience before with being named captain in 2012 and I think that he has learnt a lot over the past 4-5 years. I think that he is an outstanding person to lead the Region, he understands that it is a big responsibility. Being in the back-row is a fantastic position to Captain the team from, a loose-forward has really good knowledge of the forward play and the back play. Lewis is a standout in terms of his understanding of the game and he is someone we feel will bring a lot to it.”
“We will work well together with the addition of Rhys and Nick, who will contribute throughout the season, and we are all looking forward to the season ahead.”