Dean Ryan is reportedly set to bag himself a powerhouse new midfield for next season as the Dragons plot to shake off their long-held status as Wales’ fourth-ranked region. Heading into his second summer at the club, the ex-England international is said to be very busy on the recruitment front, the loss of Cory Hill to Cardiff Blues about to be offset by the speculated arrival of a phalanx of established names.
Welsh international Ross Moriarty signed a long term deal last month within days of Hill’s departure, giving the club a momentum that has them poised to bring a number of other heavy-hitters to Rodney Parade. No deals have been officially announced by Ryan but Jonah Holmes is apparently heading to Newport having gained release last week from the final year of his contract from Gallagher Premiership Leicester.
The winger can expect a silver service if the midfield potentially within Ryan’s grasp is now secured. Dragons are said to the front runners to snatch Nick Tompkins, the new Wales international centre who is looking for a one-year loan away from relegated English club Saracens. Tompkins was initially thought to be heading to the Arms Park but Cardiff’s insistence that he agree a two-year switch brought an end to that approach, paving the way for Ryan to accommodate the Premiership and European winner.
Now comes word via The Rugby Paper that Tompkins could line up in a midfield partnership with Leinster’s Joe Tomane. The 30-year-old, capped 17 times by Australia, is out of contract in Dublin following a two-season stint under Leo Cullen where he was often hampered by in injury and regularly lost out when the Irish province had their Ireland internationals available for the big games.
A Double-T centre partnership of Tompkins and Tomane would have the ability to electrify Rodney Parade, giving Sam Davies every incentive to play the game wide as the club looks to build on an encouraging first season under Ryan. Dragons won five of their 13 Guinness PRO14 matches and qualified for the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.
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