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After walking out on Dragons ex-Wales star takes aim at Dean Ryan

By Ian Cameron
Scrumhalf Tavis Knoyle passes the ball out of the tackle during a Wales IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 training session at Mt Smart Stadium in 2011 (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Tarvis Knoyle has taken aim at Dragons head coach Dean Ryan during an appearance on a Welsh language television show in Wales over the weekend.

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Knoyle appeared to walk out on the club under his own steam last month. A reason for the departure was not given, but now the former Wales international has heavily hinted that he wasn’t a fan of Dean Ryan’s management of the side.

The comments come as Ryan faces intense pressure over his position at the club. Last night Munster strolled to a 10-try 64-3 win over the Dragons in their United Rugby Championship fixture at Thomond Park. Sam Davies’ 16th-minute penalty proved to be the Welsh region’s only score on a nightmare game for the Newport side, who have won just a handful of games so far this season.

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Appearing on the ‘Jonathan’ show on S4C, Knoyle left the audience clear about his view of the coaching structure.

“I loved the boys and the medical staff were amazing to be fair, but there were too many English people running the place so I wanted out of that,” Knoyle told host Jonathan ‘Jiffy’ Davies.

“I was there for five years after being with the Scarlets and Blues. You just never win.

“It’s weird, because on paper the team looks amazing.”

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He was then asked by co-host Sarra Elgan: ‘What’s the problem then?’ to which Knoyle replied: ‘No comment’.

Known for his confrontational approach to the game, he made his Dragons debut in Krasnador in the European Challenge Cup match versus Enisei-STM in October 2016.

He previously played for Gloucester as well as Ospreys, Scarlets and Cardiff Blues – becoming only the third player to play for all four professional Welsh regions when he joined the Men of Gwent.

Upon his departure, the Dragons said: “The 31-year-old moved to Rodney Parade in 2016 and has made a total of 61 appearances for the Men of Gwent over five and a half seasons. Dragons would like to place on record our thanks Tavis for his efforts during this time at the region and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

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Glynneath product Knoyle was part of the Wales squad to tour New Zealand in 2010, making his debut against New Zealand in Dunedin as a second-half replacement.

He was named in the Six Nations squad in 2011, winning his second cap in the clash with Scotland, and later appeared in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He has made a total of 11 appearances for Wales.

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