Jackman welcomes new arrivals

28 December 2017 22:34:02 GMTPlus11

Dragons boss Bernard Jackman is excited about what they can achieve following the signings of Wales internationals Ross Moriarty and Richard Hibbard.

Although they have struggled this season, winning just two games in the Pro14, the Newport-based outfit have started to recruit impressively for the 2018/19 campaign.

We want to build a team here that is competitive.

Bernard Jackman

If rumours are to be believed, Moriarty and Hibbard could be joined by other stars, including Australia's Quade Cooper, and Jackman believes that they are building nicely for the future.

"We've signed Ross Moriarty and we've signed Richard Hibbard, the others are just speculation," he said. "We want to build a team here that is competitive and the Dragons have been down in a rut and underfinanced for a long time.

"Thankfully, the WRU took over in May and has given us some stability, which has allowed us to invest in our coaching staff and in our medical set-up.

"With the rule change that Warren Gatland brought in, where you have to have 60 caps or more to play for Wales if you're outside of the country, we've got players coming back and thankfully they're looking at us favourably."

With the Dragons still fiscally poorer than their Welsh regional rivals, Jackman has generally relied on the academy this season and the ex-Ireland hooker hopes that experience can benefit the squad next term.

He added: "I've blooded a lot of youngsters and our average age is 23 and hopefully those players, by this time next year, will have the experience and quality to play a crucial role in our squad.

"We're going to have a smaller squad than everyone else in terms of senior players, so I suppose I'm taking a risk in putting my money into a smaller number of players, but hopefully we'll have better quality."

Meanwhile, Wales are 14/1 to win the 2019 World Cup, with Ireland 3/1 and Scotland 33/1.

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