Newport Gwent Dragons have strengthened their squad ahead of the forthcoming season with the capture of Welsh centre Matthew Watkins from Gloucester on a two-year deal.
Newport-born Watkins, who has been capped by Wales 19 times, began his professional career with his home-town club, joining the Scarlets in 2002 before his move to Gloucester at the end of the 2007-08 season.
“I’m really pleased to be coming back to Rodney Parade,” said Watkins.
“I’m a local lad and after seven years of playing away from here, I’m looking forward to coming home.
“Looking at the squad, there are a lot of quality young players coming through with a great deal of potential and I think there is a style of rugby in the backs I’ll fit in with. It’s going to be an exciting season for me.
“I have learned a lot, particularly at Gloucester and I hope I’ll be able to bring some of the lessons I have learned and leadership qualities I have developed to the Dragons.”
“We are delighted to have Matthew on board,” said Dragons Rugby Manager Robert Beale. “He is a talented, versatile player who will bring a great deal to our side. Matthew’s experience and leadership will also be a great asset to our team.”
The Welshman replaces Australian centre Rory Sidey who was released by the region last week to return to Australia.