FORMER Dragons back Pat Howard has signed a new two-year contract with Ealing Trailfinders after proving to be a big hit in the Championship, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 27-year-old South African was released by the Rodney Parade region in 2018 after two seasons and 35 appearances.

The wing/centre headed to the Green and Whites, who have prospered in England’s second tier with the help of his powerful running.

Howard made a strong start to 2020 before the coronavirus lockdown, scoring four tries in eight games, and is pleased to have agreed fresh terms.

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“I am looking forward to continuing the journey with Ealing Trailfinders for the next two years and to keep building towards the next level with them,” said the back, who played for Munster and Northampton before heading for Wales.

“It’s been a great experience and throughly enjoyable to be able to play consistently and improve my game as part of this ambitious team and club, and I’m excited to see where we go next.”

Ealing director of rugby Ben Ward believes the strong-running centre has even more improvement to come over the next two seasons.

“Pat is a top professional who works very hard at his game. His pace and power make him very difficult to stop and he is one of the first names on our team sheet,” he said.

“We see him as a centre but he also has the ability to cover on the wing. We still feel that there is more to come from him as well as he has shown in recent months with his try-scoring so this is a fantastic signing for us.”