WING Ashton Hewitt has signed a new two-year deal with the Dragons after winning an appeal to the Welsh Rugby Union over his wage banding.

The 24-year-old from Newport has given the Rodney Parade region a massive boost by agreeing a fresh contract, cushioning the blow of losing his fellow speedster Hallam Amos to Cardiff Blues.

Hewitt, whose season was wiped out after he suffered a shoulder injury with Wales last summer, attracted the interest of regional rivals and English clubs.

A move over the border looked possible when he was put in the established regional player bracket, valued at being worth between approximately £40,000 and £110,000, under the Welsh rugby's controversial new wage banding system.

As he would have been capped were it not for injury last summer, Hewitt appealed and was successfully promoted to being a marquee regional professional, the category that allows a salary of up to £160,000.

The Dragons still needed to convince the Wales hopeful that Rodney Parade is the best place for him to fulfil his Test dreams, and the winger liked what he heard.

READ MORE: Hewitt needs to see statement of Dragons' intent

Campaign Series: STAYING: Ashton HewittSTAYING: Ashton Hewitt

"I'm delighted to get the contract signed and really excited about the future," said Hewitt. "This is my home region and a place that has already had a huge impact on my career.

"I spoke with (chairman) David Buttress about his plans for the future and his vision for Rodney Parade and the Dragons. His enthusiasm to drive this region forward has filled me with confidence.

"I know the potential here and now it is about turning a corner and making good on that potential."

Hewitt has twice been called up by Wales only for a concussion to dash his Six Nations hopes in 2017 and then a shoulder injury, suffered in a training collision with Dragons teammate Elliot Dee, denied him a place on the tour to face South Africa and Argentina last year.

He has seen Josh Adams, Steff Evans and Jonah Holmes get chances in his absence and knows getting back to his best with the Dragons is key to becoming an international.

"I can't wait to get back out there and get the jersey on," said Hewitt, who has scored 21 tries in 72 regional appearances and captained the Dragons for the first time in November, 2017.

"The staff have all been fantastic with me, the physios and medics have been great and managed me really well.

"I've missed quite a bit of rugby, but that can happen in sport. It's about how you come back from that.

"I will come into pre-season ready and fully fit with this season behind me and look to show what I know I am capable of.

"I just want to play rugby and delivering for Dragons is my priority. I'm ambitious and have aspirations to play for Wales, but there is no sense in worrying about that.

"My job is to perform for the Dragons, hopefully if I do that other things will follow."

Campaign Series: LIVEWIRE: Wing Ashton Hewitt will provide the Dragons with more of a cutting edgeLIVEWIRE: Wing Ashton Hewitt will provide the Dragons with more of a cutting edge

Hewitt has been sorely missed by the Rodney Parade region, who have the worst try tally in the PRO14.

Caretaker head coach Ceri Jones believes the Wales hopeful can help provide more of a cutting edge.

“He is a player who can create opportunities out of nothing and is a clinical finisher,” he said. “Ashton is also a leader for us, both on and off the field, who has the respect of the entire dressing room.

“Ashton is a fantastic example of home-grown Gwent talent who has come through our system and who wants to bring success to our region.

“He is excited about the future at Dragons and we’re excited to see him back in action next season.”