Assistant coach Iestyn Thomas leaves NG Dragons

Iestyn Thomas

Assistant coach Iestyn Thomas has left the Newport Gwent Dragons.

The former Wales and Scarlets prop joined the Dragons as scrum coach after he retired as a player in July 2012.

"It's been a pleasure working with Iestyn this season, his ability to pass on his knowledge and experience of front row play will be sorely missed on the training field," said Director of Rugby Robert Beale.

The Dragons statement says Thomas will pursue new challenges.

Thomas joined the Dragons coaching set-up of head coach Darren Edwards and defence coach Rob Appleyard and was charged with boosting the side's scrum and developing the front row players at Rodney Parade.

Thomas replaced forward coach Danny Wilson when he moved to the Scarlets.

Beale had claimed there were "a few issues" that needed to be settled with the Welsh Rugby Union before Thomas was officially appointed back in August 2012.

The governing body has to rubber stamp every coaching appointment by the Welsh regions as part of the participation agreement signed in September 2009.

The 35-year-old was forced to retire with a neck injury after a decade with the Scarlets.

Thomas, who was capped 33 times by Wales, had been the cornerstone of the Scarlets' pack for 10 years and played 214 times for the region.

He joined the Scarlets in 2002 and played for Wales in the 2003 Rugby World Cup after making his debut in his country's victory against Samoa in 2000.