Dragons captain and versatile back-row forward Lewis Evans has committed to the Men of Gwent by re-signing with the PRO12 side.
The Dragons stalwart, who is approaching his 200th appearance, is a successful product of the Dragons age grade system, with the Newport-born flanker also playing for Premiership sides Ebbw Vale and Newport RFC before making his first appearance for the Dragons in 2006.
The 29-year-old is an athletic player who is able to play anywhere across the back-row whilst offering good handling and breakdown skills.
“I am very, very pleased to have signed a new contract with the Dragons. It’s a place that I have called home for over ten years and it looks like I will be spending my whole career here, which is something that I am very proud of,” said Evans.
“I am a Gwent man and it’s a special place for me. I feel that the next three years are going to be the best three years yet, and I look forward to these coming years and the challenges that lie ahead.”
He continued: “Throughout my time here I have had some great experiences and learnt a lot whilst playing alongside many quality players.
“I recognise that I am now one of the senior players here and it’s great that there are many others senior players around me, whilst also having a good generation of youth coming through too.
“I really believe that the Dragons are in a good place, and it’s down to us to show how good we are and what we are capable of.”
The back-rower added: “My job is to keep fit and play well, whilst maintaining my position in the back-row over the next few years. Whilst it being nice to develop the likes of Ollie Griffiths and Harri Keddie, who are ones for the future, at the same time I need to keep my spot in the team. Hopefully by pushing ourselves it can make myself and the youngsters better.
“People often ask me why didn’t I move; I certainly have had the option to move throughout my career. However, even though there have been new challenges like new players or new management, I’ve always believed that we can achieve better as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! For some time now I have believed that we are close to achieving something special and I genuinely believe that going forward we can push this region to where it should be with the right players and coaches involved.”
Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones added: “Loyalty seems to be becoming a rarity in the modern professional game which makes it all the more pleasing that Lewis has decided to commit further to the region after ten years of service.
“He has been an exceptional player for the Dragons, covering across the back-row, and I feel the next few years will see Lewis play his best rugby. He has grown as a leader and his game understanding is second to none.
“I look forward to working closely with him over the coming seasons.”