CHAIRMAN David Buttress says the fierce competition to become the Dragons' new head coach proves the talent and opportunity at Rodney Parade, writes Chris Kirwan.

Barring any late hitches, the region will appoint former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss Dean Ryan after he was chosen ahead of ex-Lions and England coach Graham Rowntree and caretaker head coach Ceri Jones.

Ryan, 52, is currently head of international player development at the RFU but has been tempted back to club rugby.

Nothing has yet been signed and sealed but the former England number eight will serve his notice before taking the reins at Rodney Parade on a three-year contract as successor to Bernard Jackman, who was sacked in December.

Ryan will be charged with improving the fortunes of a Dragons side that have won just 7 of 42 PRO14 fixtures since the Welsh Rugby Union takeover.

They finished last season on a high with a dramatic Judgement Day win against the Scarlets and boast a squad featuring Wales World Cup hopefuls Cory Hill, Elliot Dee, Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright and Leon Brown.

With the likes of Ashton Hewitt, Ollie Griffiths, Rhodri Williams, Tyler Morgan and Jared Rosser plus seasoned internationals Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis and Ryan Bevington also on the books, Buttress believes his new man has plenty of talent to work with.

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"Speculation out there is pretty accurate, we have secured a new leader of our rugby department and that will be announced in the coming days or weeks, although as we are subject to contracts I can't say too much about that," said the chairman at the Dragons' end of season awards.

"It was an incredibly competitive process and that is testament to two things, it's testament to the young and talented group of players here and secondly to the opportunity that we have.

"Whether you choose you can or whether you choose you can't, you are probably right. For us in this room, I'd ask to think that we can, because we will.

"The people that decide to stay and be part of this, I promise you, you will achieve everything that want to with the appointment that we are about to make and the growth we are about to go through."

Wainwright won a hat-trick of awards voted for by his teammates, coaches and supporters.

Teenage flanker Taine Basham was named as young player of the year, strength and conditioning coach Ryan Harris was clubman, Brown landed the honour for community work and Jordan Williams' effort against Leinster was try of the season.