BACKS coach Barry Maddocks believes Wales speedster Jonah Holmes can follow Sam Davies' lead by stamping his authority on the Dragons.

The 27-year-old has made the move to Rodney Parade from Leicester in a bid to climb the Test pecking order.

The three-times capped wing/full-back will add firepower to a set of backs that will be set in motion by Davies, who enjoyed a superb first campaign in the east after moving from the Ospreys.

Director of rugby Dean Ryan encouraged the fly-half to stamp his authority on a side and he rose to the challenge, with his form earning a call-up to Wales' Six Nations squad.

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"Jonah is a big signing and, of course, you only have to look at what Sam did last year. He's made an excellent impression at the region and made a difference to the group," said Maddocks.

"We had that leadership and experience off someone like Sam and Jonah will once again bring that from where he has been playing. He can play in multiple positions too, which will be very important."

Holmes is the Dragons' only confirmed signing but others will follow as director of rugby Dean Ryan bids to build on a promising first campaign at Rodney Parade.

"There are a few others to come in too so that is going to help and add to the group. Everything is looking very positive going forward," said Maddocks.

"This is my fourth season here and last year we made a big leap forward. The plan now is to have players like Jonah and a couple of other players come in and make an impact.

"It's starting to progress and get to the point where Dean sees the Dragons going forward."

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There will also be a new-look coaching team when the green light is given to return to training in Ystrad Mynach.

"Mefin Davies lives down the road I have known him for years from playing and he's a great lad," said Maddocks about the former Wales hooker, who has replaced Ceri Jones as forwards coach.

"Luke (Narraway) is coming in too with different ideas so, in terms of the coaching team, things are changing all the time.

"Dean is keeping things fresh which is important as it ensures there is variety and the boys hear different voices in different areas."

The Dragons will ramp up training in the coming weeks after being given the target of August 22 for a return of the Guinness PRO14.

The squad haven't trained together since mid-March and now have a pair of Welsh derbies to aim for as well as the European Challenge Cup quarter-final at Bristol.

"That was the hard part to begin with, not knowing when we would be back. No-one knew when we were going to start or if we were going to finish the season," admitted Maddocks.

"That was hard for everyone and we had to make sure that if we were back in a fortnight then we would be ready.

"It now looks like an August return now, with two games against two of the other Welsh regions, so at least there is that starting point for everyone to look at.

"The boys are focused about what is going to happen at the start of next month and to then we start properly in August."