Ulster Rugby v Dragons


In what was a major transfer coup, Dragons confirmed they had secured the services of the Welsh international and Lions tourist from Gloucester in November 2017. The signing of the 24-year-old, who had previously snubbed interest from Scarlets and Exeter Chiefs, underlines the ambition of Bernard Jackman to change the fortunes of Dragons. Moriarty’s move was prompted by his own ambition to play for Wales, who won’t select players plying their trade outside Wales unless they have 60 or more Test caps. The back row has significantly strengthened Dragons with his dynamism and power off the back of the scrum – not to mention his tackling prowess. With his international class in the back-row, Dragons possess a player capable of making a difference in both defence and attack and taking the game by the scruff of the neck. The promising 25-year-old playmaker was signed on a two-year deal from Bath Rugby earlier this year and joins Dragons after one season in the Premiership. While his game time in the West Country was limited, he was able to learn his trade off both Rhys Priestland and Freddie Burns and quickly endeared himself to Bath fans. He delivered two man-of-the-match displays for the Blue, Black and Whites in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last season, including the narrow 13-12 victory over Northampton Saints in the semi-final where he demonstrated huge maturity and his territorial kicking piled the pressure on Saints and helped earn the win. Lewis is coming into his prime as a fly-half and with a sustained run in the team, could prove a key figure in the resurgence of Dragons. Leon Brown continues to grow in stature as a tighthead and has been touted as a possible contender for Warren Gatland’s Wales squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. One of the main areas of concern for Dragons last season was their scrummaging – an area they have attempted to address with the signing of Ryan Bevington from Bristol. But a fit and firing Brown would also add much needed beef to the front five at Rodney Parade, with the 21-year-old a modern prop who can also influence the game in other areas. He did not have a lot of luck with injuries last season, missing a significant portion of the campaign with the concussion he suffered for Wales against New Zealand in November. Brown then picked up a toe injury in the defeat to Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth in March, which saw him miss the conclusion of the season and ruled him out of Wales’ summer tour. However, the 6ft 3ins, 19st 11Ib forward returned for the start of the new season with the view of making good on his potential.





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