8:00am Tuesday 1st April 2014
By Chris Kirwan
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have bolstered their tight five by bringing home Rodney Parade favourite Ian Gough.
The 37-year-old former Wales lock has signed a deal with the region along with ex-Leicester, Gloucester and Scotland A tighthead Dave Young.
The pair will not be the only additions to the Dragons' under-pressure tight five for 2014/15 and the region are currently waiting for Welsh Rugby Union clearance for an overseas signing.
Director of rugby Lyn Jones has gone for experience in the transfer market. Gough and Young, like fellow recruits full-back Lee Byrne from Clermont Auvergne, wing Aled Brew from Biarritz and loosehead prop Boris Stankovich from Leicester, are seasoned campaigners.
Gough nearly signed for the Dragons from the Ospreys earlier this season but the move didn't come to fruition and instead he penned a deal with London Irish.
The 64-times capped lock from Panteg, who has made 10 appearances for the Madejski Stadium outfit, said at the time: "I will assess things at the end of the season. If I feel good enough, I've still got the appetite and my form is good then who knows?"
And Gough will be returning to Rodney Parade 18 years after making his Newport debut alongside the legendary David 'Muddy' Waters.
The hard-hitting lock made 139 appearances for the Black and Ambers and 92 for the Dragons before signing for Jones' Ospreys in 2007.
He will be charged with aiding in the development of promising second rows Cory Hill, Matthew Screech and Joe Davies.
Gough will be joined in the tight five by strong-scrummaging tighthead Young, who is currently plying his trade with Jersey in the English Championship.
The 29-year-old came through the ranks at Leicester and played alongside fellow new recruit Stankovich in the Tigers' front row before going on to have spells at Gloucester, Edinburgh and Leeds.
It is hoped that the no-frills Scot will fulfil a similar role to that currently being carried out by Duncan Bell, the 39-year-old ex-England tighthead who has been brought out of retirement for his ability to hold up the scrum rather than rampaging around the paddock.
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