Newport Gwent Dragons name Darren Edwards as new coach

Newport Gwent Dragons have named Darren Edwards as the region's new coach.

Edwards, 36, has been in a caretaker role since the departure of Paul Turner after six years in charge.

Turner was suspended on 28 January pending "various investigations" before his exit by "mutual agreement" was confirmed on 11 February.

"Darren was given an opportunity to prove himself earlier in the season and he has seized it with both hands," said Dragons chief executive Mike Jenkins.

Edwards guided the Dragons to five wins, four defeats and a draw during his caretaker spell.

He will now have four Magners League games to overturn a 12-point deficit and catch the Scarlets to claim the final spot for the Welsh regions in next season's Heineken Cup.

Former Sale coach Kingsley Jones and former Ospreys coach Lyn Jones, who spent time in an advisory role at Rodney Parade two years ago, were also linked with the job.

But the Dragons hierarchy opted for Edwards, who is also Wales under-20s coach.

"I'm thrilled to be taking on this role at Rodney Parade," said Edwards. "We have a strong coaching team here and a quality squad.

"There are big things to come for us and with the stadium regeneration well underway, it's a really exciting time to be involved with the Dragons."

Edwards will manage the senior regional side, while Robert Beale will be responsible for the long-term development and management of rugby in the region in his role as director of rugby.

"Although Rob's role hasn't changed through this appointment, his responsibilities and the important part he is playing in the long-term development of Dragons rugby has been clarified through this change in title," added Jenkins.

"We have a vibrant, talented coaching team here and both Darren and Rob have shown that they have the skill and knowledge to guide our regional setup to the next level."