BOSS Dean Ryan says it was essential to meet face-to-face with Wales fly-half Sam Davies before giving the green light to sign the Dragons new boy.

The work to sign the 25-year-old started long before the former England forward was appointed as the successor to Bernard Jackman.

Davies met with chairman David Buttress, caretaker head coach Ceri Jones and the rest of the management team but only put pen to paper last month.

That was after meeting with Ryan with both parties keen to ensure it was the right fit before sealing the deal.

The Dragons have long been on the lookout for a fly-half with top-quality game management and Davies ticks those boxes, but the new director of rugby didn’t just want to go on what he has seen from the eight-times capped international.

Campaign Series:

“I always meet everybody because the one thing I want to know is how much a player wants to be here,” said the former Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester boss.

“I don’t want it to be about anything else. Professional sport is now about all sorts of other things but you can’t lose the but about what is the key reason for wanting to be here.

“You only get that from meeting people and I will always meet people I want to be influential and check those reasons are right, because that is central to moving a club forward.

“This challenge at the Dragons is complex but any time I have been in a challenge as serious as this it’s key to get some good people around you and get them here for the right reasons, then you won’t go far wrong and it starts to be contagious.”

Ryan hasn’t arrived with the intention of swinging the axe and making drastic changes; at the press conference to announce his appointment he stated that he plans to listen and he has reiterated that.

However, the new boss is thrilled to have secured a coup with the arrival of Davies before his official start date in July.

“I wasn’t expecting as good news so quickly, what I really wanted was to make this about a place of opportunity, where we could start with a blank piece of paper and mould it around individuals that see the next year, two years, three years,” he said.

“When I arrived and started conversations with Sam, that fitted with where he is in his career. There is plenty of exciting talent here but it does need pointing in the direction.”

Campaign Series:

The signing of Davies is a statement of intent but it wasn’t one that Ryan and the Dragons rushed into.

“I want to break the cycle of ‘we need to do something quickly’,” he said. “We need to do the right things and this is definitely the right thing for the Dragons and for Sam, hopefully the relationship is something that becomes fruitful for everybody.”

Davies comes with the intention of reigniting his Wales career by spearheading an upturn in fortunes at Rodney Parade.

Ryan believes the 25-year-old is at the right stage of his career to mould a team, but has warned about heaping the pressure all on one man in the 10 jersey.

He said: “It doesn’t sit on any one person’s shoulders, including mine. It’s a combination of all of us and we’ve all got to play a part. It’s not a case of ‘here Sam, go and solve this’ but it is a good start.

“It’s perfect timing for a person who wants to really put his stamp on a team and a game. Sam wants to get back into Wales recognition, to do that his influence is going to have to be screaming at everyone.”

“Fly-halves are essential, that’s why I am over the moon,” he continued. “I didn’t want somebody that was still shaping (their opinions about the game), now is the time for Sam to say ‘this is my opinion’ and make some people move and influence them.

“When you come into successful sides it tends to be someone else setting the parameters but we are in a space and a time where someone can put there stamp on it. That’s very exciting.”

The Dragons return for pre-season training on Monday with Ryan set to meet his new charges even though he doesn’t officially start until next month.