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Holley slams Dragons' recruitment
ESPN Staff
April 16, 2013
Italy's Kris Burton spins the ball in training, Italy training session, Mario Rigamonti Stadium, Brescia, Italy, November 9, 2012
Kris Burton will run out for the Dragons next term © Getty Images

Ex-Ospreys coach Sean Holley has criticised the Dragons' recent batch of signings.

The Newport region will lose star flanker Dan Lydiate at the end of the season, with Racing Metro his likely destination, but they bolstered their squad with four new recruits last week - three of which were: Italy fly-half Kris Burton, Cheetahs second-row Martin Muller and Argentinean prop Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

But Holley has questioned these signings, telling Wales Online: "They're not household names, are they? Burton when he plays for Italy is there to drop goals, kick goals and he's not the bravest in defence - he can't really run an attacking game. It makes you wonder where the Dragons are going with it.

"We've got young Owen Williams with the Scarlets who can't get much rugby and is therefore going to Leicester. Where's the recruitment policy? Where's the succession planning?

"As for Cheetahs and Argentinians no-one has ever heard of, then I'm sorry, surely we've got young Welshmen who can come and step into the berth and follow the footsteps of Dan Lydiate, Toby Faletau, someone who has come through the system."

The Welsh regions have had some stellar names turning out in the past with players such as Jerry Collins and Percy Montgomery running out and Holley questions whether the Dragons' new recruits will have a similar impact.

"Anyone who knows me, I'm keen on having, like a Viv Richards and a Joel Garner, if you like for a cricket analogy - top, top players if they are overseas that will add value and will play all season, bring something to your culture and environment.

"I just don't see it with some of these signings. When you sign like a Filo Tiatia or a Stefan Terblanche, even a Jason Spice, Justin Marshall - they add value - a Xavier Rush, people who add value to your environment, then it makes a difference. I don't know, the proof's in the pudding, as usual, but I don't hold out much hope."

But Holley was pleased with the recruitment of monster No.8 Netani Talei, though he fears it could signal Toby Faletau's exit from the region, with the Welsh international strongly linked with a move to Bath.

"Talei is a fine player," Holley added. "He is a reasonable player at No 8 and that probably tells you something, more worryingly, about Toby Faletau and where the future lies there."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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