Wales lock Luke Charteris to captain Newport Gwent Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons have announced that Wales international lock Luke Charteris will be their new captain.

But the 28-year-old will not take up the role until he returns from Wales duty at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Charteris, the 6ft 10ins and 19st 4lb second rower, succeeds former New Zealand hooker Tom Willis, who had been Rodney Parade skipper since 2008.

"Luke's attitude and leadership have been outstanding during his career at the Dragons," said boss Darren Edwards.

"He has a fantastic work ethic and the respect of the whole camp.

"Luke's position here was secured before the Welsh squad for the World Cup was announced.

"Although he is going to be absent for the first few weeks of the season, we were confident that he is the man for the job and are delighted that he will be leading the Dragons this season."

The former Llanelli player, who has played 194 games for the Rodney Parade region following his arrival in 2003, led the Dragons when the then skipper Kevin Morgan was away with Wales at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

And the 25-times capped Charteris has previously stood in as Dragons captain when Willis was out injured.

"I'm honoured to have been appointed as captain of the Dragons," said Charteris.

"I know I'll be away for the first few weeks of the season but having attended the Leeds friendly I know that they are going to be just fine without me!"