By Paul Jones
The Dragons are considering a move for Leicester Tigers contract rebel Greg Bateman to add to the incoming signing of Wales lock Will Rowlands.
Rodney Parade director of rugby Dean Ryan has already signed Wales international backs Nick Tompkins and Jonah Holmes and Rowlands is soon to arrive from Wasps.
Now, they are looking at Bateman who left Leicester earlier this month alongside England ace Manu Tuilagi after failing to agree a new deal at Welford Road.
The prop is a free agent as a result and the 31-year-old would add to Ryan’s front row options as he looks to make continued strides with the Newport-based region.
Bateman made 92 Leicester appearances and has great experience of the English Premiership.
“We are always interested in quality players. It’s an interesting and difficult time for every region in terms of their finances, but at the same time we’ve got a responsibility as a team to keep developing. Every good Welsh player is of interest to us,” Ryan said on the prospect of new arrivals.
“We want to talk to all of them. Making the Dragons a conversation piece around us being a potential home for these players is significant process from where we were last year.”
The Dragons also remain interested in bringing Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts back to the Guinness PRO14, but their continued pursuit of new players is angering the other three Welsh regions.
Roberts has other offers – notably from America – on the table.
With Welsh rugby left cash-strapped by the Covid-19 pandemic there is little money to be spent and earlier this year all four regions agreed to delay the announcement of any new signings.
The Dragons nonetheless remain keen to progress, but the fact they are owned by the Welsh Rugby Union has left the Scarlets, Ospreys and especially Cardiff Blues feeling resentful.