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Flyhalf Angus O'Brien to stay at Dragons

By Ian Cameron
Angus O'Brien of Dragons during the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Dragons at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Dragons RFC have announced that fly-half Angus O’Brien has signed a new multi-year contract to extend his tenure with the Men of Gwent.

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O’Brien – originally from Caerleon – is a product of the Dragons academy and had previously amassed 70 appearances for the team, contributing 305 points, before his departure to the Scarlets in 2018.

The Wales Under-20 international returned to Rodney Parade in 2022, bringing with him a wealth of experience and adaptability that has significantly benefited the team. O’Brien, who has recently turned 29, was honored as the club’s Player of the Season for the 2022/23 campaign.

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Head Coach Dai Flanagan said: “We’re all really pleased that Angus has signed a new contract as he is a very important figure within our squad.

“Angus has impressed in his second spell with the club, deservedly winning the player of the season award last term.

“We’ve missed both his ability and presence on the field this season, as he has been unlucky with the injuries he’s picked up.

“However, Angus is determined to get back out on the field before the end of the current campaign and continue to show he is a leader for Dragons.”

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O’Brien, who played for Wales Sevens at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, has made 89 appearances for Dragons RFC, his hometown club. With 352 points scored for the Dragons, he ranks fifth on the club’s all-time list of top points scorers.

“I’m really pleased to agree new terms with my home club,” said O’Brien. “It’s been a tough and frustrating season for me personally due to injury, but now I’ve re-signed with Dragons I can look forward to more games and hitting a century of games soon.

“My focus is my recovery and I can’t wait to get back out on the field in front of our fans because I am massively excited about the next few years ahead of us.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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