Ireland and Afghanistan have attained Test status after being awarded full membership by the International Cricket Council.
Jackman replaces Kinglsey Jones as Dragons coach
Bernard Jackman has been appointed as the Dragons's new coach.
The former Irish international will take-over from Kingsley Jones, who's leaving Rodney Parade to head a WRU programme to recruit new talent for the professional game in Wales.
"It is a huge honour for me to be joining the Dragons at such an exciting time in their history," said Jackman.
"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."
Jackman was previously head coach of Top 14 side Grenoble before leaving in March this year. His appointment is the first milestone in the new partnership with the WRU, which will take over control of the club and Rodney Parade from the 1st July.
The Irish international also played in the Connacht side that was coached by Warren Gatland when it reached the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
Wales and British & Irish Lions coach Gatland says Jackman will be a huge asset to the region: "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 is of the very highest quality.
"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.”
The outgoing coach, Kingsley Jones, said: "It’s been a tough decision to step away but in light of the recent change of ownership it’s the appropriate time for a fresh start for both myself and the Dragons.
"It has been both a privilege and an honour to lead the region that I grew up in over the last four years.
“This is an exhilarating new chapter in my coaching career and I can’t wait to start."
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