Speaking on his new job Ian commented, "I am looking forward to the challenge of coaching Newport and I believe that I can bring and add a lot to the playing side. I am looking forward to working with a talented group of players and with Mike and Sven. My first goal is to cement Newport as the number one side in Gwent rugby and improve on their consistency and performances in the league. Newport are aiming to finish on a high this year and we will look to continue that into the 2006/07 season. Next season will be a huge challenge as the Premiership is a very competitive league with a lot of promising youngsters in the competition. However, we are in the process of assembling the nucleus of a strong team that will compete for silverware."
Sven Cronk, former Newport player and captain will remain in charge of the forwards a position he has held for the past two seasons. Dragons Community Projects Manager Mike Sage also joins the Black and Amber coaching team where his role will be to look after the backs. Mike has been involved previously with Newport Youth and has taken responsibility for the Newport backs this season while Dai Rees has been involved with the Wales 7s.
"I am delighted and excited at the challenges of the new role," commented Mike. "I see it as a natural progression having gained considerable success at Youth level not only in terms of silverware but also in developing players who progressed under my guidance to achieve international honours, many of which have been recruited by Newport Rugby.
"I look forward to re-establishing working relationships with these players and continuing to build on the rapport I have created this season with the current group of quality players we have at Newport. With my knowledge and enthusiasm I will look to bring a style and a cutting edge to the backs which will breed success."
Speaking on the new Newport coaching team, Chairman Will Godfrey said, "We are delighted to have coaches of the calibre of Ian, Sven and Mike at the helm. All are knowledgeable coaches who will lead the ambitious Newport team with Sven providing continuity to the coaching set-up. We already have strength in the team and some exciting signings will be announced shortly."