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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)

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.


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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Le French Rugby Podcast – Episode 19

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Le French Rugby Podcast – Episode 19

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.”

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.”


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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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

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