Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Willis to remain Dragons skipper

Tom Willis
Tom Willis

Former New Zealand hooker Tom Willis has been re-appointed as captain of the Newport Gwent Dragons for a third season.

Willis, 31, took on the leadership responsibilities when he signed for the Men Of Gwent from the Waikato Chiefs in 2008.

The ex-All Black signed a new two-year deal with the Magners League side in April.

"I'm very proud and happy to be captain of the Dragons again this season. I have enjoyed my first two years as captain of the team," said Willis.

"I'm looking forward to leading the Dragons and building further on the successes of last year.

"From a personal point of view I think we need to improve our away record and maintain Rodney Parade as the fortress it has become.

"I also want to encourage all the supporters around Gwent to get right behind us again this year. We really enjoy playing on our home patch in front of them and they make all the difference."

Willis was restricted to just 16 appearances for the Dragons last season because of a calf injury - but his reaction to being sidelined impressed head coach Paul Turner.

"His leadership qualities are top notch and I'm sure he will continue to be successful in the role," said Turner.

"Ironically his leadership really came out last season when he was injured which is testament to him. Tom's been a great influence within the squad on and off the field during his time at the Dragons."

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