YOUNG backs Arwel Robson and Connor Edwards intend to put the heat on the Dragons starters after signing one-year contract extensions at Rodney Parade.

Fly-half Robson and centre Edwards have returned for pre-season training with the aim of climbing new boss Dean Ryan’s pecking order.

The playmaker will start the summer behind high-profile recruit Sam Davies and Josh Lewis, who finished last season strongly.

Robson endured an injury-ravaged 2018/19 after rupturing a hamstring on his return from ankle problems.

The 22-year-old from Penallta intends to push hard to add to his 19 regional appearances.

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“It’s been a frustrating few months with the injury, but I’m looking forward to getting back on the pitch and proving what I’m capable of,” said Robson.

“There’s more competition for the number 10 jersey now, but having been out for some time, it will be good to step up training now we’re back in pre-season.”

Edwards made an impression in Bernard Jackman’s first season at the helm, making 10 appearances and showing promise with his hard running and strong defence.

He captained the Dragons in the Celtic Cup last season but failed to make an appearance for the seniors and had a spell on loan with English Championship club Hartpury.

After Jarryd Sage was released at the end of the season, the 21-year-old from Croesyceiliog will tussle with Adam Warren, Jack Dixon, Tyler Morgan, Tiaan Loots and prospect Aneurin Owen for starts.

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“I’m really happy to re-sign with the Dragons. I’m proud to be from Gwent and I want to be a part of making the region successful,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to pre-season and competing for the starting jersey.”

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Dragons backs coach Barry Maddocks believes the prospects have the ability to put the pressure on the region’s more established pros.

“Arwel and Connor are two of a young group we have in our ranks that we see real developments in and we see bright futures for them both,” he said.

“Connor Edwards has the capacity to play directly – he brings physicality, is strong in contact and he is a strong defender.

“Arwel likes to play running rugby too, he’s maturing and is aware of what he needs to get better at and is enthusiastic about improving his game.

“Hopefully they can both get more game-time, push on and be a big part of our plans.”