FLY-HALF Arwel Robson has been challenged to climb the Dragons pecking order and show he deserves game time after being given another season at Rodney Parade.

The 23-year-old from Penallta has signed fresh terms with the region but will start the new campaign behind Wales fly-half Sam Davies and fit-again Josh Lewis in the depth chart.

Robson will return for 2019/20 while Jacob Botica is on the way out, with a second spell in France believed to be in the pipeline.

Davies started 16 of 19 games after swapping the Ospreys for the Dragons while Robson made just four appearances in the first year of Dean Ryan's reign.

The former Wales Under-20s playmaker was sent for a spell on loan with Jersey in the English Championship and Botica, who signed from RGC in the summer of 2018, provided the fly-half cover on the bench.

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Robson has struggled to string games together because of injury since making his regional debut along with Leon Brown and Will Talbot-Davies at Leicester in a 2016 Anglo-Welsh Cup clash.

He has represented the Dragons 23 times and, with Davies, Lewis and full-back Jordan Williams as other options at 10, has been left in no uncertain terms by director of rugby Ryan that he has to push on next season.

"Arwel is a young fly half who really wants to play for this region," said Ryan. "He still has lots to learn and now needs to play regularly and show he can develop in our environment."

Robson was a bright prospect when he impressed with Newport RFC in the Premiership as a youngster in 2015/16.

Injury misfortune has stunted his development but the fly-half is keen to grasp the opportunity presented by the new one-year contract.

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"I'm really happy to sign for my home region and excited for the future here," said Robson, who played for Wales Under-20s.

"I really feel we're building something special at the Dragons, which is underlined by the progress we've made this season, and I'm determined to play a big part in that journey going forward."

While Robson will be back at Ystrad Mynach when the Dragons get the green light to resume training, Botica is on the way out.

He failed to make a single appearance in his first season in the south after moving from RGC but had a steady campaign under Ryan.

The 27-year-old made 10 appearances and earned his first regional start as a makeshift full-back against Castres in January's European Challenge Cup clash in France.

His first outing in the 10 jersey came against Benetton on March 6 while Sam Davies was on Wales duty but Botica failed to grasp his opportunity.

That fixture was the last time that the Dragons took to the field because of the coronavirus pandemic and it will also be the final appearance for the son of former All Black Frano.

Botica had a spell with Agen before heading for Colwyn Bay and a return to France could be on the cards.