Paul Turner: Former Dragons boss makes surprise return as 'part-time advisor'

Paul Turner is to make a surprise return to Dragons as a part-time consultant for the rest of the season.

The 63-year-old former Newport fly-half spent six years as director of rugby at Rodney Parade until 2011.

Speculation over his role had sparked tensions in the club with head coach Dai Flanagan.

However, Dragons insists Turner - who remains head coach at English Championship side Ampthill - will be limited to issues off the pitch.

That will include advising the club on player development and recruitment, having previously been involved with the Welsh Rugby Union's (WRU) exiles programme, as well as providing assistance as a mentor to younger coaches.

Turner said: "I'm looking forward to getting back involved with Dragons and assisting in any way I can with a club and region I have a great affinity for.

"My main focus remains with Ampthill, who I remain fully committed to, but this is an exciting opportunity for me to once again support Gwent rugby, the new board, plus Dai Flanagan and his coaching team."

It was the idea that Turner would mentor Flanagan, who effectively took over as director of rugby when Dean Ryan was sacked in January, that became a bone of contention.

Flanagan was furious over a leaked story that suggested Turner would come in above him.

However, he added: "I have a long-term relationship with Paul and so I'm really pleased he is joining us in this consultancy role.

"Paul is a well-respected figure in Welsh rugby and someone I have trusted for a long time.

"His vast experience and knowledge will be an asset to the club, in particular the work he can do with player recruitment and enhancing our pathway system."

Turner, who played three times for Wales between 1988 and 1989, had a distinguished coaching career in England with the likes of Sale, Saracens, Gloucester and Harlequins.

He took charge of the Dragons in 2005 and was named Magners League coach of the year in 2010 before leaving the region in February 2011.

He later joined Dai Young at Wasps and is now head coach at Ampthill.

Dragons are one point off the bottom of the United Rugby Championship (URC), and without a win in their opening four games.