An incredible six English Premiership clubs – including champions Saracens – are allegedly on the trail of an unheralded youngster on the books at Dean Ryan’s Dragons.


Nineteen-year-old Taine Basham first came to the attention at Rodney Parade when Bernard Jackman still held the reins. 

Having starred for the Welsh under-20s at the 2018 World Cup in France and carried on in the 2019 Six Nations, the back row heads into the new campaign with 14 Guinness PRO14 appearances to his name and multiple eyes watching his development. 

Basham, who turns 20 in November, has one year remaining on his Dragons deal and WalesOnline are reporting that a source close to the player claims: “Six top Gallagher Premiership clubs have enquired about Taine.” 

They include Saracens, who earlier this year demonstrated their interested in young and upcoming Welsh talent by recruiting Rhys Carre from Cardiff Blues and Sam Wainwright from RGC 1404.

Basham’s agent has played down the attention. “Naturally talented youngsters are always going to attract interest from big clubs,” said Esportif’s Gareth Maule. “Taine is naturally talented. But he’s also under contract at the Dragons until the end of the season and fully committed to them.”


Ryan’s back row roster at Rodney Parade is packed with options, a list that includes Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright, Ollie Griffiths, Nic Cudd, Lennon Greggains and Basham, who was described by previous coach Jackman as a ringer for Justin Tipuric. 

“Taine is a gifted boy,” he said over the course of his 18 months in charge. “We have seen him make people look silly in training. He can beat people for fun. He’s very quick and very elusive, with good offloading skills.

“His skill-set is pretty unique. Not many back rowers have that. He is very much like Justin Tipuric to my mind. He has similar traits. He’s got that little bit of magic that makes you go ‘wow, that is brilliant’.”

WATCH: The Dragons Lair, the RugbyPass behind the scenes documentary on the Dragons when Bernard Jackman was at the helm

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