New international forwards key to Dragons improving
Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman is hopeful an influx of international forwards will help turn the region’s fortunes around this season.
This time last year they had two capped forwards in Ollie Griffiths and Cory Hill – now they have nine.
Jackman said the likes of Ross Moriarty, Richard Hibbard, Ryan Bevington and Aaron Jarvis will show his squad “what good looks like”.
“It’s a key component in getting better,” he said.
Dragons endured a torrid 2017-18 season in the Pro14, finishing second from bottom in their conference with just two wins.
Dragons hooker Elliot Dee and prop Leon Brown went on to make their Wales debuts in last November’s autumn internationals.
That month also saw Jackman’s first high-profile signing for the 2018-19 season in British and Irish Lion Moriarty.
His Gloucester team-mate and fellow Lion Hibbard soon followed, as did Bevington from Bristol and fellow Welsh prop Jarvis from French side Clermont Auvergne.
Samoan lock Brandon Nansen completed Jackman’s forwards shopping list.
“When we do our set piece, we’ve got a hell of a lot better rugby intelligence and an understanding of what good looks like,” Jackman said.
“That’s probably taken for granted when you’re in clubs with bigger budgets.”
He added his younger players would benefit from “better role models”.
“They’re rubbing shoulders with players who’ve done it over countless years in the Champions Cup or on the international stage worldwide,” he added.