Taine Basham's 'rollicking' and the lightbulb moment that set Dragons flanker on the road to Wales stardom

Taine Basham’s ‘rollicking’ and the lightbulb moment that set Dragons flanker on the road to Wales stardom

Taine Basham has put pen to paper and agreed a new long term deal with the Dragons.

Since making his debut in the 2017/18 season, Basham has gone on to make 53 appearances for the region and crossed the whitewash 12 times.

The 22 year old flanker made his Wales debut in the summer against Canada where he scored twice and has gone on to gain seven caps, starting all four of Wales’ recent Autumn Nations Series matches.

Dragons director of rugby, Dean Ryan, was understandably pleased to get the deal over the line.

“It’s been the result of 24 months of hard work by Taine,” said Ryan

“We’re all delighted to see that form transfer to the international field. I don’t think anyone’s ever been in doubt about the moments that Taine can create. I think my challenge to him has always been about building foundations to allow him to play international rugby.

“I’m really pleased for him that he’s been able to do that and people have been able to see him at that level.

“For us it’s just an ongoing strategy supporting our best young players and seeing them get better. It’s incredibly rewarding for me and obviously rewarding for Taine to go on and operate at that level. I’m over the moon for him.”

Ryan spoke about how Basham has become a more rounded player since first meeting him when he joined the region in 2019.

“I can remember the first time I gave him a rollicking. He’d scored three tries against Castres in Europe,” Ryan explained.

“It was a great capture of him thinking he’d played well because he scored three tries and me thinking you’ve got no foundations to your game and we’re in danger of getting stuffed.

“I suppose that was the first time he looked at me completely bewildered and thought what’s the expectation of this guy coming in if it’s not three tries?

“It was about how you build good games, and not how you sit waiting for moments. I don’t think he got it that day, I think he was a little bit confused about things.

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“I know Taine can score tries and I know he can do things that other people sometimes can’t but what I don’t know is if the game will always allow him to do that. Therefore he has to build on other aspects to stay competitive.

“That was probably about 18 months ago and credit to him, I do think he sees good games differently and I think that’s what I was trying to do, get a different lens on what good looks like.

“I wanted him to build and work hard at the things underneath and I’m delighted with the reward he’s had.”

Basham’s Dragons return to URC action this weekend as they host Edinburgh at Rodney Parade on Saturday (5:15pm).

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