Lions legend backs Dragon

Legendary Lion Phil Bennett believes that the Welsh fly-half factory in is good working order. [more]

Lions legend backs Dragon

Legendary Lion Phil Bennett believes that the Welsh fly-half factory in is good working order.

Bennett played in eight successive Tests for the Lions, guiding the ‘Invincibles’ to victory over the Springboks in 1974 before captaining the tourists in New Zealand four years later.

He has long been a big fan of current Wales outside-half Stephen Jones, his fellow Llanelli product who started all three Tests for the Lions in South Africa last summer.

Jones is currently being challenged by Ospreys youngster Dan Biggar for the No10 shirt in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup but Bennett has also been impressed by another up-and-coming playmaker in Jason Tovey of the Dragons.

Tovey was in superb form last season as the Dragons emerged as surprise contenders for a Magners League Play-Off berth.

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The 21-year-old began the season at full back but finished the campaign as one of the most-talked about players in Wales following a string of impressive performances for his region.

A year after missing out on a place in the Wales squad to North America due to Heineken Cup Play-Off commitments with the Dragons, Tovey was on standby for the summer tour of New Zealand on which Jones and Biggar started a Test each against the All Blacks.

And while Tovey may be number three in the current pecking order, Bennett expects the left-footer to push Biggar all the way when Jones’ lengthy international career eventually comes to an end.

“Stephen is coming to the end of his career and Jason has every chance of establishing himself as an international player,” Bennett, who was capped 29 times by Wales between 1969 and 1978, told the Western Telegraph.

“He has a cultured left boot and I thought he was excellent towards the end of the season.

“Jason’s an outstanding kicker with a beautiful touch. He’s a quality player.

“It’s good news for Welsh rugby that Jason will challenge Dan, who is himself such a good controller of a game.”

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