'I’ll do it my way' - Dragons head coach vows not to change his ways after Ryan exit

BOSS: Dai Flanagan is calling the shots at the Dragons with Dean Ryan set for the exit
BOSS: Dai Flanagan is calling the shots at the Dragons with Dean Ryan set for the exit

DRAGONS head coach Dai Flanagan has pledged to be his own man when calling the shots after the exit of Dean Ryan.

The Rodney Parade club are yet to officially confirm the departure of the director of rugby and it might not be a rapid process given that he is also on the board.

A financial package needs to be sorted with the former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss but he was not at the ground for the stunning 23-17 win against Munster in the United Rugby Championship on Sunday.

Flanagan, who arrived from the Scarlets in the summer to take up a newly created role, was in charge and got a tune out of a squad that had been slammed by Ryan for their efforts in Edinburgh on opening weekend.

The 36-year-old headed east with a reputation for being diligent but personable with captain Will Rowlands hailing his "emotional intelligence" before the season.

Flanagan arrived as a number two but has pledged he won't change after swiftly being promoted to number one.

Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan

"If things were to move in certain directions, I will just always be me. I can assure people that I won't change," he said.

"I am the way I am, people love me or hate me. I am a coach who is quite demanding on standards but I am very much a believer in people.

"We need to enjoy being in each other's company, so as staff we need to provide the opportunity for the players to muck in together.

"We have to learn to be comfortable with each other and the tighter we become as a unit, the harder we will be to beat.

"There are certain non-negotiables that I have as a coach and I am sure the players will get used to that as we go along."

Flanagan, from Penallta, cut his coaching teeth at Newport High School before heading west to Llanelli and the Scarlets.

Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan

"I've been coaching for a long time and I work hard at it, like I ask players to work hard at their craft," he said.

"Nobody is ever perfect, if you think that you are perfect then you are wrong, so I will always try to make myself better which will then make the players better.

"As head coach at this region it's my job to make sure we prepare for games [well] and we were off in Edinburgh. We all looked in the mirror and you could see the effort that we gave against Munster."

Flanagan has been in professional rugby long enough to know that the windows for celebration are small.

"We have six days before the Sharks and they are a big side," he said. "We are in on Monday to recover, learn and walk through some stuff."