DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan isn’t in a rush to field his international midfield partnership of Jamie Roberts and Nick Tompkins ahead of the mouth-watering European quarter-final at Bristol.

The signing of Lions powerhouse Roberts was confirmed on Monday and the 33-year-old trained with his new teammates at the start of the week.

However, he has since gone on holiday and after being with the Stormers in South Africa at the start of the year, will be playing catch-up on the rest of the squad.

The Dragons returned to training in Ystrad Mynach at the start of July with Tompkins linking up with Ryan’s team for the first time after signing on a year-long loan from Saracens.

The 25-year-old Wales international is in line to make his regional debut when the PRO14 regular season is finished with an away game at the Ospreys on Sunday, August 23 and home clash with the Scarlets the following Saturday.

Those derbies are followed by the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against the Bears at Ashton Gate on Friday, September 18.

Ryan also has Jack Dixon, Adam Warren, Connor Edwards and hot prospect Aneurin Owen as options for his midfield and will play the long game when it comes to bringing in Roberts.

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“We have got no timelines,” said the director of rugby. “Jamie got trapped in a situation at the Stormers (in South Africa at the start of the coronavirus pandemic).

“I’ve got no timelines about Jamie needing to be on board this week, the week after or anything else, what we’ve got to do is look at the season as a whole.

“We are all excited about our quarter-final, but our quarter-final isn’t our season. There are also a lot of people that worked really hard to get us to the quarter-final that will want to put their hands up as well.

“We are introducing Jamie into what we are doing and how we are doing it. We look forward to his contributions and will work out a timeline afterwards.”

Roberts is relishing the chance to join forces with Tompkins, who made his Test debut as a replacement against Italy in the Six Nations before starting versus Ireland, France and England.

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“I did drop him a message when he had his first cap. I have not seen a debut Six Nations tournament like that from a midfielder for a long time,” said Roberts.

“For someone to come in completely unknown. I say unknown, he was well-known in the Premiership but untested on the international stage.

“To come through like he did in some big games for Wales, I have not seen that. So that’s exciting in itself.

“Supporters of Welsh rugby should get very excited about Nick because he’s a quality player, he’s been there and done it at a high level domestically and is undoubtedly going to play a huge part for Wales over the next World Cup cycle.

“I have played against him a few times when he was at Saracens. He’s a smart player and a clever communicator.”