Bernard Jackman named Dragons coach after Warren Gatland nod

Jackman coached Grenoble before leaving in March. ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP/Getty Images

Bernard Jackman has been revealed as the first Dragons coach since the Welsh Rugby Union's (WRU} takeover of the region was confirmed, following consultation with Warren Gatland.

Jackman, who played under Gatland for Connacht, will start his new job on Monday after previous head coach Kingsley Jones left that role to head up the WRU's exiles programme.

The Welsh governing body will take formal control of the Dragons and their Rodney Parade home on July 1, but work has already begun on ensuring the region is in the best shape for the new season.

"It is a huge honour for me to be joining the Dragons at such an exciting time in their history," Jackman, who left Grenoble in March, said.

"The region is a hot bed of Welsh rugby and to join at such a significant moment in time is a challenge I relish. I can't wait to get started and look forward to meeting the playing squad and the backroom team.

"We are obviously at the beginning of a major period of transition off the pitch, but on it we will need to quickly get down to work and reward the faith and obvious passion of our supporters throughout the region."

Wales and British & Irish Lions coach Gatland was part of a four-man panel -- that also included Stuart Davies, Martyn Phillips and Geraint John -- that conducted a review of the Dragons coaching set up.

Speaking from the Lions tour of New Zealand, Gatland said: "Bernard is an ideal fit for the Dragons and I know he will be work diligently and exhaustively to ensure that the set up both on and off the pitch at Rodney Parade is of the very highest quality.

"He will be a huge asset to the region, he will create the right environment to allow a talented group to become even better players at the Dragons and he is someone in whom the supporters can put their trust as he will work tirelessly in his pursuit of success."